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ISRAEL IN PROPHECY

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FOREWORD

This 'Foreword' is a brief summary of my message on the 70-Weeks prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). In that prophecy God gave the world two timetables; a 69-week timetable leading up to the first coming of Jesus Christ, and a remaining 70th week leading up to His second coming. The 69-week timetable consisted of 69 'weeks' of years, each week lasting for 7 years (for a total of 483 years). Jesus fulfilled that timetable when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before His crucifixion.

The 70th week, however, is not like the first 69 weeks; it is not a week of 7 regular calendar years. Rather, it is the great week of the Abrahamic Covenant; beginning roughly 4000 years ago with God's promises to Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (by the Romans), and soon to be completed at the second coming of Jesus Christ.


THE GREAT WEEK OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

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The first three pages in the prophecy section of this web site (Introduction to Prophecy, The Olivet Discourse, and The Timetable for Jesus' Return) explain these things in detail. To put it simply, Jesus has told us (in His 'Olivet Discourse') that the midpoint of the 70th Week is the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. Then God gave the world four visions of the entire 70th Week in John's Little Book. John received the Little Book in Revelation chapter 10, and has set its contents before us in Revelation chapters 11-13. When we combine the Olivet Discourse with John's four visions, the nature of the 70th Week becomes obvious.

The first vision, of 'The Temple and the Courtyard' (Revelation 11:1-2), describes the second half of the week as a time during which the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles:


THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD

The second vision, of 'The Two Witnesses' (Revelation 11:3-12), describes God's giving of the entire Bible ('the Law and the Prophets') to the world during the first half of the week, and then portrays the dead bodies of God's servants lying in the city of Jerusalem throughout the second half of the week. This is a picture of the guilt of the Jewish nation for their persecution of God's prophets during Old Testament times, their crucifixion of Christ, their continuing persecution of Christ's disciples, and their opposition to the proclamation of the gospel to a human race desperately in need of it.


THE TWO WITNESSES

The third vision, of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon' (Revelation 12), describes Israel's bringing of the promised Messiah and 'seed' of Abraham into the world, followed by the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world for the following 1900+ years. While the second vision of 'The Two Witnesses' portrays the guilt of the Jewish nation, this third vision reveals God's preservation of that nation through many years of wandering and difficulty throughout the world. In addition, this vision explains the ultimate source of the world's persecution of the Jewish people over the past 1900+ years; a defeated and bitter archangel. The 'casting out of Satan' is one of the great themes of the New Testament, and sheds much light upon the history of the world over the past 1900+ years.


THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON

The fourth and final vision, of 'The Beast From the Sea' (Revelation 13), describes God's authorization of the Beast of Revelation to continue in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week.


THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

This perspective on the 70th Week of Daniel is based upon the simple and obvious meaning of God's word. With it we can see that God has explained world history to us in a very accurate and useful way. And He has shown us that we are now living very late in the second half of the 70th Week. It is this perspective on the 70th Week that is the foundation for everything else that I have to say about prophecy in this web site. Without a willingness to at least consider the possibility that I am correct, any further time that my visitor might spend in the prophecy section of this web site will be of little use.

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ISRAEL IN PROPHECY

REVELATION 12: ISRAEL'S STORY IN A NUTSHELL

As the apostle John was receiving the Book of Revelation from God, he experienced an interruption in the process. In Revelation chapter 10 an angel gave John a little book and instructed him to eat it, telling him that the book would be sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach. After he ate the book, the angel told John that he would have to 'prophesy again' (over and above the larger book of Revelation that he was already receiving). That additional prophecy, John's Little Book, is given to us in Revelation chapters 11-13.

John's Little Book provides us with four visions that help us to understand Daniel's 70-Weeks prophecy (found in Daniel 9:24-27). God told Daniel that the final, 70th Week of this prophecy would be divided into two halves. This division would be marked by an ending of sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem, and an 'abomination' that would leave the Temple 'desolate' (for a full explanation of Daniel's 70-Weeks prophecy, see my web pages on the Olivet Discourse and the Timetable for Jesus' Return). The four visions of John's Little Book are listed below, and their references to the two halves of the 70th Week are highlighted in red.

    1) Measuring the Temple (Revelation 11:1-2, second half of the Week = 42 months)
    2) The Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:3-14, first half of the Week = 1260 days, second half = 3.5 days)
    3) The Woman, the Child and the Dragon (Revelation 12, second half of the week = 1260 days and 3.5 'times')
    4) The Two Beasts (Revelation 13, second half of the Week = 42 months)

There are many prophecies in the Bible about the nation of Israel and the Jewish people, found everywhere from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation. But there is not a single prophecy about Israel that is more clear, comprehensive and powerful than the vision of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon', found in Revelation chapter 12. In this vision we see Israel's past, as the Woman who brought the promised 'Child' and Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, into the world during the first half of Daniel's 70th Week. Then we see Israel's present, dispersed throughout the world beginning in 70 AD and persecuted by the Dragon (Satan) throughout the second half of Daniel's 70 Week. Finally, through the imagery of this vision which is borrowed from the 'dream' of Joseph (Genesis 37:9-10), we are given a divine clue about Israel's future; closure with a 'brother' that Israel turned over to the Gentiles, and Whom they have long believed to be dead.

I invite my reader to join me in looking at this vision of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon', along with other passages from the Bible that help us to not only understand Israel's past, present and future, but also the past, present and future of the entire world as well.


ISRAEL'S PAST (FROM ABRAHAM TO 70 A.D.)

THE WOMAN GIVES BIRTH TO THE SEED OF ABRAHAM

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried out, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven: Behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to deliver, to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.

Revelation 12:1-5

The Woman in this vision is the nation of Israel, indicated by a garland of 12 stars, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The Child is Jesus Christ, brought into the world through the 'Woman' in fulfillment of God's promises regarding the 'Seed' of Abraham. The Dragon (or Serpent) is the archangel Lucifer; also referred in the Bible as Satan or the Devil. The Dragon's attempt to devour the child is a picture of Herod the Great's Satan-inspired attempt to destroy the Christ-child at His birth (Matthew 2:16-18).

After Jesus finished His work of providing a way of salvation for mankind (by living a sinless life and then allowing Himself to be crucified as an atonement for mankind's sins), He was resurrected from the dead and exalted to the throne of His Father in heaven.

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The key to understanding Israel's past is the Abrahamic covenant, and Israel's role as the biological nation that God would use to bring Abraham's promised 'Seed' into the world. Nearly 4000 years ago, around 1900 BC, God spoke to a man named Abraham and told him to leave his homeland and travel to a different land that God would show to him. Abraham obeyed God and made his journey in two stages, traveling first to Haran (where his father died) and then moving on to a land called Canaan.

Journey map

After Abraham arrived in Canaan, God established a covenant with him centered around two promises:

    PROMISE #1   GOD PROMISED ABRAHAM THAT A SPECIAL PERSON, WHO WOULD COME OUT OF ABRAHAM'S OWN BODY, WOULD BRING BLESSING UPON ALL THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD. GOD REFERRED TO THIS PROMISED PERSON AS ABRAHAM'S 'SEED'.

And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice.

Genesis 22:18
    The apostle Paul tells us that, in the original Hebrew the word 'Seed' is singular, and does not refer to the many children of Abraham, but to one particular Person within his family:

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He said not 'And to seeds', as of many; but as of one; "And to thy seed", which is Christ.

Galatians 3:16 (Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 15:5, 17:8, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14)
    And Paul tells us that when Abraham first heard this promise from God, he understood it to be the 'gospel' message that had been the hope of all mankind from the very beginning; the promise that there would be a Savior who would provide mankind with a way of forgiveness and reconciliation with God:

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached the gospel unto Abraham, saying "In you shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:8
    PROMISE #2   GOD PROMISED ABRAHAM THAT SOME DAY BOTH HE AND HIS PROMISED 'SEED' WOULD TAKE POSSESSION OF THE LAND OF CAANAN (ISRAEL) FOREVER.

And the Lord said unto Abram (after that Lot was separated from him) "Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; For all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your Seed for ever.

Genesis 13:14-15

Jesus Christ is the promised 'Seed' of Abraham, who died on a cross in order to make the blessing of forgiveness and reconciliation with God possible for all the nations of the world. And it is Jesus Christ who will come to earth again to fulfill God's second promise to Abraham; to share the promised land with Abraham.

ABRAHAM'S DUAL FATHERHOOD

There was a day when God came to visit Abraham in person, face to face. God had come to see whether or not the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were as evil as had been reported, and God wondered aloud whether or not He should tell Abraham what business He had come for. In that encounter God described Abraham as both the father of one great nation (Israel), and also as a man through whom many nations would be blessed:

And the Lord said "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation (Israel), and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Genesis 18:17-18

In order to understand the biblical place of Abraham, we must recognize that he is the biological father of one nation (Israel), and through that biological fatherhood he has also become a father of many nations.

  1) BIOLOGICAL FATHERHOOD OF ONE NATION - ISRAEL  After establishing His covenant with Abraham, God gave a new commandment to him and his family. All of the males in Abraham's family, from newborn baby boys to full grown men, were to carry the mark of circumcision in their bodies as a sign and reminder of the fact that it would be through them, physically, that the promised Seed of Abraham would someday come into the world.

This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you. Every man child among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a token of the covenant between Me and you. He that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations. And he that is born in your house, or bought with money of any stranger, who is not from your body, must also be circumcised. My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.

Genesis 17:10-14

In addition, God began to specify which part of Abraham's family would produce the promised Seed. It would be through Abraham's son Isaac (rather than Ishmael) that the Seed would come (Genesis 21:12). It would be through Isaac's son Jacob (rather than Esau) that the Seed would come (Genesis 25:23-26). And finally Jacob, on his deathbed, declared that it would be through the tribe of Judah (from which we derive the word 'Jew') that the promised Seed would come (Genesis 49:10). Hence God, Who had promised a future Messiah for the entire world, gave greater clarity to that promise by thereafter describing Himself as "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (Exodus 3:6,15,16, 4:5. For a fuller explanation of Abraham's relationship with God, and its prophetic significance, I refer my reader to my web page titled AN INTRODUCTION TO PROPHECY).

The Bible tells us that the family of Abraham became a nation known by several names; the Hebrew people, the people of Israel and 'the Jews'. A Jew is a biological descendant from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Circumcision is the outward, ritualistic sign of this physical connection. When God originally established circumcision, He declared that any male who refused circumcision (or whose parents refused it for him) was to be excluded from Israel (Genesis 17:14). Failure to circumcise a Jew could result in him being separated from the Jewish people; thus tremendous significance became attached to this ritual. The Biblical definition of a Jewish man is one who is both 1) a biological descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and 2) circumcised. Today this rite is still observed by Jews throughout the world, although they may not fully appreciate its original significance; that it points, in a very down-to-earth way, to the promise of one very special 'Seed' who would come into the world through their family.

Although circumcision was a God-given commandment to the Jewish people, and marked them physically as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it could not guarantee that a little Jewish boy would grow up to love and obey God. It was a biological sign, reflecting genetic traits and pointing to a future Messiah, but did not necessarily mean that every circumcised person would believe in that Messiah. To enjoy the blessings of the Messiah, one would also have to be a spiritual descendant of Abraham, following in the spiritual footsteps which had brought Abraham himself into God's blessings.

Although Abraham's biological family obediently circumcised all of their male children, carrying on that tradition from Abraham until the coming of Christ 1900 years later, not all of the people of Israel welcomed the Messiah. In fact many fought against Him. While Jesus carried out His ministry in Israel many Jews opposed Him, ultimately turned Him over to the Romans to be crucified, and then did everything within their power to prevent the proclamation of His salvation message to the rest of the world.

Obviously there is a difference between being biologically Jewish, and being obedient to God. Abraham, Moses and the prophets were all Jews. Jesus was a Jew, as were His disciples. Both Israel itself, and all of the nations of the world have been blessed through these faithful Jews and their deliverance of God's word to the world. But the Bible makes a distinction between mere biological Jewishness, and biological Jews who also obey God. The apostle Paul explained this distinction, pointing out that a Gentile who obeys God's Law is more 'Jewish' in God's sight than a biological Jew who breaks the Law:

Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the Law, and make your boast of God. You know His will and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the Law. You are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes who has the form of knowledge and of the truth in the Law. You therefore who teach another, do you teach yourself? You that preach a man should not steal, do you steal? You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you commit sacrilege? You that make your boast of the Law, do you dishonor God through breaking the Law? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.


For circumcision truly is profitable if you keep the Law. But if you are a breaker of the Law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcised person keeps the righteousness of the Law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not the uncircumcised person (who was born that way by nature), if he fulfill the Law, judge you who by the letter and circumcision do transgress the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart; in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not from men, but from God.

Romans 2:17-29

  2) SPIRITUAL FATHERHOOD OF MANY NATIONS THROUGH CHRIST  How is it that Abraham could become a father of many nations? Because as the father of the promised 'Seed', Abraham would therefore become a father to all those people who would be united 'spiritually' to his 'Seed'. The apostle Paul explained this connection between Christians and Abraham:

For you (Christians) are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

Paul also described those who are born into God's family through the Messiah as the 'children of the promise' (those who have entered into the worldwide blessing that God promised through Abraham's Seed). Paul taught that it was not Abraham's biological offspring, but his spiritual offspring that constituted the fulfillment of Abraham's fatherhood:

Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, which are born of Israel. Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but "In Isaac shall your seed be called". That is, they which are the children of the flesh (biological), these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Romans 9:6-8

Abraham's 'fatherhood of many nations' is repeatedly stressed in the book of Genesis:

And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 12:3

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you.

Genesis 17:4-5

And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed My voice.

Genesis 22:18

Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you (Isaac), and will bless you; for unto you, and unto your Seed, I will give all these countries. And I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham your father. And I will make your Seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your Seed all these countries; and in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Genesis 26:3-5

And your Seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you (Jacob) shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 28:14

This inclusion of the Gentiles in the Messiah's saving work was also foretold by Israel's prophets:

Rejoice, O nations (Gentiles) with His people (Israel): for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.

Deuteronomy 32:43

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and His rest shall be glorious.

Isaiah 11:10

I the Lord have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:6

And He said "It is a light thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give You for a light to the Gentiles, that You may be My salvation unto the end of the earth.

Isaiah 49:6

"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof. And I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen which are called by my name (Gentile Christians)" says the Lord that does this.

Amos 9:11-12 (Acts 15:16-17)

"For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles. And in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering, for My name shall be great among the heathen" says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 1:11

Lastly, in the book of Revelation, we see that Jesus' saving work will have encompassed of all the nations of the world:

And they sang a new song, saying "You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred, language, people and nation".

Revelation 5:9

SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION

How can one enter into the blessings that have come to the whole world through Israel's Messiah? By being united with Him in His death, burial and resurrection from the dead. In a nighttime conversation that He had with a leader of the Jewish people, Jesus described this union with Himself as being 'born again':

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night and said unto Him "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that You do, except God be with him".


Jesus answered and said unto him "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God".


Nicodemus said unto Him "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?"


Jesus answered "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you 'You must be born again'. The wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell from whence it comes, and where it goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit".


Nicodemus answered and said unto him "How can these things be?"


Jesus answered and said unto him "Are you a teacher of Israel, and know not these things?"

John 3:1-10

Moses described this new birth as a circumcision of the heart, and the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel also spoke of a profound inward change that God would achieve within those who are His, resulting in a new ability to obey God's laws:

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

Deuteronomy 30:6

"Behold, the days come" says the Lord, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the (Mosaic) covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them", says the Lord. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days", says the Lord: "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people".

Jeremiah 31:31-33

"And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you (Israel) have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord" says the Lord God, "when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. 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. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Ezekiel 36:23-27

Abraham himself experienced this inward, spiritual transformation. It always begins with repentance; a change of heart and mind where we condemn ourselves for our sins and look to the mercy of Christ to save us. This self-judgment and faith in the Savior is then recognized by God, and He unites us with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection (see Why God Requires Our Faith and God's Forgiveness). Genuine repentance includes a rejection of our own self-righteous 'works of the Law' and a turn to the way of faith that God originally commanded us to follow in Eden. Abraham is one of the Bible's great examples of repentant faith, and the new heart that comes with it:

Abraham believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6

Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.

Genesis 26:5

Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believes. For Moses described the righteousness which is of the law, 'That the man which does those things shall live by them'.

But the righteousness which is of faith speaks in this way: "Say not in your heart 'Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or who shall descend into the deep?' (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead)". But what says it? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach: 'That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved'". For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says "Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed". For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile); for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:1-13

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Galatians 6:15

For we (Christians) are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Philippians 3:3

In Whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead.

Colossians 2:11-12

JEWISH PRIDE

John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus' work among the people of Israel. John was a Levite, the son of a priest, and had a thorough knowledge of the Mosaic laws and sacrifices. He was sent by God to proclaim God's transition from the old Mosaic system to the New Covenant foretold in Jeremiah 31:31-33 (quoted above). Hence when this Levite saw Jesus, he said "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29, 36). John was not only foretelling Jesus' fulfillment of the Old Covenant Passover symbolism, but was also pointing out that this sacrifice would extend beyond the Jewish people to the entire world.

Many of the Israelites of John's day were proud of their biological Jewishness, and felt that they were uniquely blessed and pleasing to God. Though physically circumcised, they were essentially ignorant of the spiritual circumcision that God requires. Because he loved his countrymen, John confronted these Jewish illusions head-on:

But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them "O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves 'We have Abraham to our father'. For I say unto you that God is able, from these stones, to raise up children unto Abraham".

Matthew 3:7-9 (Luke 3:7-8)

Jesus also warned the Jews about false confidence in their biological Jewishness. He taught that it is righteousness that represents true descendance from Abraham. Jesus challenged the Jews regarding whether or not Abraham was truly their father. He taught that God prefers righteous Gentiles to unrighteous Jews. And when He proclaimed this in His hometown of Nazareth, they sought to kill Him:

And Jesus said unto them "You will surely say unto Me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in your country (Nazareth)'". And He said "Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you a truth, that many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But unto none of them was Elijah sent, except unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman (Gentile) that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian (a Gentile)". And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way.

Luke 4:23-30

When Jesus heard the words of the Centurion (a Gentile), He marveled and said to them that followed "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth". And Jesus said unto the centurion "Go your way, and as you have believed, so be it done unto you". And his servant was healed in the same hour.

Matthew 8:10-13

They (the Jews) answered and said unto Him "Abraham is our father". Jesus said unto them "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father". Then said they to Him "We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God". Jesus said unto them "If God were your Father, you would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? even because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe Me not.

John 8:39-45

The apostle Paul also confronted this false Jewish pride. As Paul described his conversion to Christianity to the Jewish people during his last visit to Jerusalem, they listened attentively until he spoke of taking the Gospel to the Gentiles:

And it came to pass that when I (Paul) was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance. And saw Jesus saying unto me "Make haste and get quickly out of Jerusalem, for they will not receive your testimony concerning me". And I said "Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those that believed in You. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him". And He said unto me "Depart, for I will send you far hence unto the Gentiles". And they (the Jews) gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices and said "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live", as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air.

Acts 22:17-23

THE CHURCH DEBATE ABOUT CIRCUMCISION

For centuries many Jews had embraced the idea that obeying the divine commandment of circumcision somehow conferred divine favor upon the Jewish people. The apostles, who were the leaders of the early Christian Church, were Jews who had been raised with this very narrow, 'parochial' view of who God's 'chosen people' were, and the role that circumcision played in defining those people. They struggled with the question of whether or not the Gentiles could be partakers of the grace of God without being circumcised.

Although Peter knew that Jesus had evangelized the Samaritans (John 4), and that Philip had been sent by God to the Samaritans and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), it was not until God sent him to speak to the household of Cornelius (Acts 10) that he and the other Jewish leaders of the Church were fully confronted by the fact that Gentiles are as fully able to become Christians as Jews are. We see Peter's discovery in the book of Acts:

Then Peter opened his mouth and said "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears Him and works righteousness is accepted with Him.

Acts 10:34-35

While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:44-45

With this entry of the Gentiles into the Christian church, there were questions about whether or not they should be circumcised physically, and whether or not they must keep the Mosaic laws. There was much conflict and confusion around these questions throughout the apostolic era, as seen in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), and in Paul's letter to the Galatians. Paul dealt with each of these two questions by looking back to Abraham, and the fact that Abraham entered into God's blessings 1) before he was circumcised, and 2) before the Law of Moses was given:

Comes this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also (for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness)? How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he already had being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Romans 4:9-12

Brethren, I speak after the manner of men. Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He (God) said not 'And to seeds', as of many, but as of one: 'And to your Seed', which is Christ. And this I say, that the (Abrahamic) covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, the (Mosaic) law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot annul, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Galatians 3:15-18

Paul's point was, first of all, that Abraham's righteousness consisted of his faith, and that circumcision followed and resulted from this righteousness, rather than being a part of it. Paul taught that we should look at Abraham's character, rather than his circumcision, as the basis of his acceptance by God. Secondly, Paul pointed out that Abraham's 'righteousness of faith' preceded the Mosaic Law by over 400 years, and therefore the Mosaic Law could not annul its validity. Therefore no Gentile who came to righteousness in the same way that Abraham had (through faith) was bound by the legalism of the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law symbolized and pointed to the coming of Christ and all that He would accomplish, while the Gentile believer had the very substance of the Law; Christ Himself.

Rather than run from Jewish arguments, Paul pointed to the father of the Jews and answered them from their own scriptures. While respecting the validity of circumcision as a God-given mark of biological Jewishness, Paul refuted the idea that it represented any kind of moral righteousness in the sight of God.

TWO ERRORS IN THE CHURCH

I have witnessed two errors within the Christian church today:

    1) Not enough respect for biological Jewishness.
    2) Too much respect for biological Jewishness.

ERROR #1 I have observed a belief among some Christians that God has cast off the nation of Israel forever. Because the Jewish people completed their purpose of bringing the Messiah into the world 2000 years ago, because they fell under God's judgment and suffered destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D., and because circumcision and its 'relative significance' has been put in proper perspective, some Christians have come to believe that the Jewish people no longer have a special place in God's future plans. This view is sometimes referred to as 'Replacement Theology'; the belief that the Christian church has replaced Israel in God's sight, and that all of the promises found in the Bible regarding the future blessing of Israel are actually descriptions of the church.

I do not believe that this is true. While Paul certainly says that it is much more 'Jewish' in the eyes of God to be a Gentile who obeys the Law than a Jew who is a criminal, this does not mean that God has abandoned biological Jewishness. While it is certain that being Jewish does not make a person inherently better or more important in the eyes of God than anyone else, I believe that Jewishness still has an important place in God's plans. The Bible tells us that there is a tremendous future for a Jewish nation of Israel. I present many of the Bible's prophecies concerning that tremendous future in the remainder of this web page.

What needs to be understood is that when Jesus comes back and restores a biologically Jewish nation to its promised glory, its citizens will not be a part of Israel simply because they are Jews, but because they are Jews who are Christians. False Jewish pride will be a thing of the past. Every Jewish citizen of Israel will know that he enjoys God's blessing through a grace that has been extended to all the nations, without respect of persons. God will bless Israel not because Israel deserves blessing, but because it will glorify Himself:

"And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up My hand to give it to your fathers. And there you shall remember your ways, and all your doings wherein you have been defiled. And you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have worked 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.

Ezekiel 20:42-44

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus says the Lord God "I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the Gentiles, wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the Gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them. And the Gentiles shall know that I am the Lord", says the Lord God, "when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes".


"For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. 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 a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness".


"And I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you shall receive no more reproach of famine among the nations. Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I do this", says the Lord God. "Be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel".

Ezekiel 36:22-32

For then I will take away out of the midst of you those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no more be haughty because of My holy mountain. I will also leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth.

Zephaniah 3:11-13

Those Christians who have chosen to 'write off the Jews' would do well to pay closer attention to the apostle of the Gentiles. We see Paul's respect for biological Jewishness in his circumcision of Timothy (Acts 16:3), his observance of the Jewish traditions (Acts 20:21-26), in his special love for his Jewish brethren (Romans 9:1-5), and in his warnings to Gentile Christians that it is a 'Jewish Tree' that nurtures and supports them (Romans 11:17-24). Paul's warning is reinforced by the fact that the 'New Jerusalem' (Revelation 21:12-14) will have 12 gates named after the 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 foundations named after 12 Jewish apostles.

Replacement theologians are guilty of the Gentile arrogance that Paul warned against in Romans 11:18,22. It is a pride that is just as misguided as the Jewish pride that I have described above. This arrogance has led many Gentile 'Christians', down through the centuries, to join in the persecution of the Jews. If they had rightly understood Revelation 12, they would have valued their spiritual connection with the Jews, and shared in their sufferings as people hated by the same defeated archangel. I fear that by opposing the restored nation of Israel, many Christians have aligned themselves so closely with Satan that they have put their relationship with God in jeopardy.

Israel and its Patriarchs represent the foundation of Christianity, and the original 'Olive Tree' that all Gentiles have been grafted into (Romans 11:17-18). Gentiles must not forget this, and that there is a special place for the nation-state of Israel in God's future plans. If there is anything that is clear in Bible prophecy, it is that God is going to restore a Jewish nation of Israel to great glory. Many Gentile Christians are excited about this, and have been stirred spiritually as they have seen the Jews returning to Palestine, and the 'resurrection' of the nation of Israel. But God's gracious plans for Israel will not have been fulfilled until every citizen of that nation knows that no Jew is inherently different or better in God's sight than any Gentile. We are all, first and foremost, sons of Adam and rebels against God.

ERROR #2 The second error that I have observed within the Christian church, I would describe as 'fawning' over Jews. Any Jew who has become a Christian is somehow assumed to be spiritually 'special' or superior to a Gentile Christian. Some Jews have established Christian ministries and have traveled from church to church trading upon this 'special status', while they often have nothing especially unique or valid to say, and in many cases teach error.

I have attended 'Messianic' fellowships where Jews expect special treatment from Gentiles. In one such Messianic congregation a Jewish leader demanded that I call him 'Rabbi', even though Jesus commanded that we are to call no one 'Rabbi' except Himself (Matthew 23:8). When I pointed out this commandment to him, he responded that John the Baptist's followers called him 'Rabbi', and thus he was justified in using the same title.

This 'Rabbi' overlooked several things about John the Baptist however:

    1)  John the Baptist was the greatest prophet in the history of the world up until his time (Matthew 11:11). If any man could have been excepted from Jesus' commandment, it might have been John; but no one else.
    2)  Jesus gave His commandment about calling men 'Rabbi' after the coming of John the Baptist. Thus it did not apply to John. John's chronological position, before the ministry of Christ, allowed him an exception.
    3)  John was a member of the Levitical Priesthood, serving God under the old Mosaic Covenant as its 'last representative'. And so, while Jesus praised John as the greatest of all prophets, He also pointed out that, as a man representing the old Mosaic system, John was 'positionally' inferior to the least person under the New Covenant (Luke 7:28).

Under the New Covenant each Christian is a partaker of an accomplished salvation (rather than the mere symbols of a coming salvation), and each Christian has come to know Jesus personally (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:11). Hence Jesus could rightly command that no Christian call any man 'rabbi', since under the New Covenant each Christian has a direct relationship with the ultimate Rabbi. John's status under the Old Covenant put him outside of Jesus' New Covenant commandment.

Apparently none of this mattered to this Christian 'rabbi' who was determined to make his biological Jewishness count for more than God's word allows. It was this same kind of 'Judaizing' that the early church had to battle constantly, as various false apostles and prophets, trading on their Jewish heritage, sought to lead the early church astray. This is why Paul, more than once, was compelled to magnify his own Jewishness in order to counter the influence of other Jews, and why Jesus sharply denounced disobedient Jews as well:

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation (circumcision)! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.

Philippians 3:2-7

I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Revelation 2:9

Biological Jewishness counts for nothing in the sight of God if that person is not abiding in Christ, circumcised in the heart and bringing forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If such a person truly is continuing in Christ, he will exalt his spiritual Jewishness over his physical Jewishness, just as Paul did; especially if he wants his fellow Jews to rightly understand God's way of salvation.

For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

Some Gentile Christians accord such special status to the Jews, and are so afraid to confront them with the Gospel, that they even teach that Jews can receive God's salvation without repenting and trusting in Christ (John Hagee comes to mind). Others are afraid to tell Jews that the past 1900 years of Jewish dispersion and suffering are the direct result of their nation's opposition to God. They are afraid that Jews will lump them together with all of the false Christians who have persecuted Jews down through the centuries. They allow themselves to be 'blackmailed' by the potential accusation of 'anti-Semitism', and the fear that they may be following in the footsteps of Martin Luther, who became vehemently anti-Jewish in his later years. Anyone who truly loves the Jews, however, will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

It is important to recognize that Luther swang from one extreme to the other. He was compassionate toward Jews early in his ministry but then, when most of the Jews he encountered rejected Christianity, he swang to the opposite extreme of evil persecution. I believe it's possible that his antisemitism ultimately severed him from the grace of God. It is important that Christians recognize these errors, and appreciate the importance of being 'centered' in our approach to Israel and the Jewish people.


ISRAEL'S PRESENT (FROM 70 A.D. UNTIL NOW)

ATTACKED BY THE DRAGON

In Revelation 12:6, following the birth, death and resurrection of Christ, Israel is shown fleeing into the wilderness, where she will be sustained by God:

Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Revelation 12:6

This flight of the Woman into the wilderness (described again in verse 14) represents the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world beginning in 70 A.D.; a dispersion which, while it represented God's judgment upon the nation of Israel, would also assure the survival of the Jewish people. I have highlighted (in red) the 'one thousand two hundred and sixty days' (above) and the 'time and times and half a time' (in Revelation 12:13-17 below) because they both represent the same period of time; the second half of Daniel's 70th 'Week'.

Verses 7-12 give us a view of one of the most important events of world history; the 'casting out' of Satan from heaven:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time".

Revelation 12:7-12

Verse 12 describes the condition of the entire earth since 70 AD; the habitation of an enraged archangel who has been defeated by Israel's Messiah, and now knows that his doom is certain and his time is short. Until the Lord Jesus died on the cross and completed His work of salvation, Satan had always been able to come before the throne of God, pointing out mankind's wickedness. He asked God how He could sacrifice His own Son in order to provide forgiveness for such evil people. We find an example of this past access that Satan had to God's throne, and a dialogue between them, in the book of Job.

Satan had a valid point; there truly was no sensible reason why the Son of God should die for sinners. Satan's hope had been that God would agree to some kind of moral compromise, allowing sin and Satan himself to continue existing within His universe. But the Father didn't listen to Satan's arguments, and did allow His Son to die for us. Thus Satan no longer has any moral standing before the throne of God, and was cast out of heaven and down to earth.

The theme of Satan's fall from heaven is critically important for understanding both the Bible and the world in which we live. It is such an important event that Jesus referred to it when He described His approaching death, and also said that it would be a constant message of the Holy Spirit:

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death (crucifixion) He should die.

John 12:31-33

And when he (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on Me. Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:8-11

Verses 13-17 (below) describe a period that the Bible refers to as 'The Great Tribulation'; characterized by a defeated, enraged Archangel pouring out his fury first upon the Jewish people, secondly upon true Christians, and ultimately upon all mankind. In these verses we see the evil personality behind Hitler and every other persecutor of the Jews from 70 AD to the present; the same fallen archangel that is stirring up worldwide hatred for the nation of Israel today.

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her offspring, which keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:13-17

The second object of Satan's wrath, after the Jewish people, has been Christians (verse 17, the rest of Israel's offspring, who "keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus"). Satan is delighted when the Jewish people think that Christianity is the cause of their sufferings. It suits his purposes well. It turns them away from their Messiah. But genuine Christians have never been the persecutors of the Jews. They have suffered down through the centuries with the Jews.

For a better understanding of Satan's activity over the past 1940+ years, one need only read the story of the Egyptian Pharaoh in Exodus (chapters 5-14). Pharaoh refused to submit to God, even allowing his own kingdom to be destroyed. Even after his defeat, Pharaoh chose to continue fighting against God. He refused to let God's people go, choosing instead to plunge himself and his army into the Red Sea in pursuit of the people of Israel.

Just as Pharaoh was defeated through God's Passover (Exodus 12), Satan has been defeated by God's ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. And just like Pharaoh, although he knows that he has done evil and has been defeated, Satan would rather go down into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone fighting God relentlessly, dragging all of humanity down with him, than let any human being escape his deceptions and enter into the grace of God. This is the nature of the world in which we live. It is dominated by an infinitely evil being who is utterly opposed to the truth, and to the salvation that God would bestow upon men. Satan's cruel, merciless, unmatched wickedness is described in the book of Isaiah:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High". Yet you shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.


They that see you shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof? That opened not the house of his prisoners?" All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Isaiah 14:12-20

It is this defeated archangel who is the agent responsible for the suffering of the Jewish people and faithful Christians for the past 1900+ years, for the world's growing animosity toward Israel today, and for the apocalyptic war against Israel that will continue until Satan is chained and cast into a pit (Revelation 20:1-3).

JEWISH HOLOCAUST DENIERS

It is hard to believe that anyone denies that the Holocaust occurred, it is such a widely and fully documented historical event. There are people and even entire nations, however, that choose darkness rather than light. But just as there is a denial of the Holocaust among its past (and possible future) perpetrators, there is also a denial of the Holocaust among its victims; the Jewish people. They do not deny that the Holocaust occurred, but they deny the underlying reason for it.

Often they point to the wickedness of those who perpetrated the holocaust, sometimes focusing on Christianity as the cause of their suffering (because so many professing Christians persecuted them down through the centuries). But you don't hear many Jews ask why God abandoned them into the hands of such enemies in the first place. The reason they were expelled from the land is writ large across the Bible, from the Old Testament to the New.

When God promised the land of Israel to Abraham, He told him that possession of the land is directly tied to the moral state of its occupants. God told Abraham that his family would not be able to take possession of the land for 400 years; until the wickedness of the Amorites would 'become full':

But in the fourth generation (of the Israelites living in Egypt) they shall come here again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Genesis 15:16

This principle, that living in God's land is conditioned upon obedience to God, permeates the entire Old Testament. Both the Law and the Prophets are filled with the warning that God would not allow the Israelites to remain in the land if they disobey Him. Below are some of those warnings:

And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the its iniquity upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourns among you. For all these abominations have the men of the land (the Amorites) done, which were before you, and the land is defiled. That the land not spit you out also, when you defile it, as it spit out the nations that were before you.

Leviticus 18:25-28

You shall therefore keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: that the land where I bring you to dwell spit you not out. And you shall not walk in the manners of the nation which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that flows with milk and honey". I am the Lord your God, Who has separated you from other people.

Leviticus 20:22-24

When you shall beget children, and children's children, and you 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 your God, to provoke Him to anger: I (Moses) call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto you go over Jordan to possess it. You shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, where the Lord shall lead you.

Deuteronomy 4:25-27

If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make your plagues awesome, and the plagues of your offspring; even great plagues and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses and of long continuance. And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other.

Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 63-64

But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods and worship them, then will I pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them. And this house (Temple) which I have sanctified for My name, will I cast out of My sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passes by it, so that he shall say "Why has the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?" And it shall be answered "Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshipped them, and served them: Therefore has He brought all this evil upon them".

2 Chronicles 7:19-22

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.

Jeremiah 9:15-16

And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen where they come; and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 12: 15-16

God did more than forewarn that the people of Israel would be removed from the land if they sinned; He also explained how they might be restored to the land; through the confession of their sins.

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me, and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity, then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

Leviticus 26:40-42

Solomon drew upon Leviticus 26 when he proclaimed God's formula for restoration, as he dedicated the first Temple. Solomon's words were heeded by Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah as they confessed to God. As a result the people of Israel were allowed to return from the Babylonian captivity, and build the second Temple:

If they sin against You (for there is no man who sins not,) and You be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near: yet if they bethink themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto You in the land of their captivity, saying "We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly"; if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which You gave unto their fathers, and toward the city which You have chosen, and toward the house (Temple) which I have built for Your name; then hear from the heavens, even from Your dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people which have sinned against You.

2 Chronicles 6:36-39

And I (Daniel) set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession and said "O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and from Your judgments. Neither have we hearkened unto Your servants the prophets, which spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs unto You, but unto us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries where You have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against You."

Daniel 9:3-7

And at the evening sacrifice I (Ezra) arose up from my heaviness. And having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God and said "O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day: and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands; to the sword, to captivity, to a spoil and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

Ezra 9:5-7

I (Nehemiah) beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keeps covenant and mercy for them that love Him and observe His commandments: Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant, which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against You. Both I and my father's house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I beseech You, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying "If you transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations. But if you turn unto Me, and keep My commandments and do them; though some of you were cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set My name there.

Nehemiah 1:5-9

In a direct response to Daniel's prayer, God gave him a prophecy that contained schedules for both the first and second comings of Israel's Messiah. I have explained these schedules in my web pages titled The Olivet Discourse and The Timetable for Jesus' Return. In these web pages I explain how Jesus came, the first time, exactly when Daniel foretold He would. I also explain when Jesus' will come again to restore the Kingdom of David and rule the world. I also describe how the Jews failed to heed Daniel's prophecy, and how Jesus warned them that their rejection of Him, His apostles and His Gospel would render them and their nation guilty of all the righteous blood ever shed upon the earth up until that time.

It is Israel's crucifixion of Jesus, its persecution of His disciples, and its opposition to the worldwide proclamation of the blessings of Abraham's Seed, that has led to 1878 years of dispersion. It is imperative that the Jewish people understand this; in fact it is impossible for them, as a nation, to be fully restored and see the Kingdom of David realized until they do.

Finally, I close this section with these words from Moses. Moses taught that a great prophet like himself would someday come to Israel, and that a person would have to obey this Prophet in order to enjoy the blessings of God.

The Lord thy God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him you shall hearken. According to all that you desired of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying "Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not". And the Lord said unto me "They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you, and will put my words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19

When that great Prophet, Jesus, came to the nation of Israel, many of the Jewish people believed in Him and entered into the grace of God. But the majority of the nation rejected Jesus. They not only put Him to death, but also did everything within their power to prevent the proclamation of His salvation message to the rest of the world. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul warned of the consequences of this behavior for the nation of Israel:

Hear another parable. There was a certain householder who planted a vineyard, hedged it round about, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to husbandmen and went into a far country. And when the time of the fruit drew near he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants and beat one, killed another and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first, and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying "They will reverence my son". But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves "This is the heir! Come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance". And they caught him, cast him out of the vineyard and slew him.

Therefore when the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They said unto Him "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons". Jesus said unto them "Did you never read in the scriptures 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes'?" Therefore say I unto you "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof".

Matthew 21:33-43 (Psalm 118:22-23, see also Isaiah 5:1-7)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say "If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets". Therefore you are witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets and wise men and scribes. Some of them you shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you "All these things shall come upon this generation".

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stones them which are sent unto you. How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house (the Temple) is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you "You shall not see me henceforth, until you shall say 'Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord'".

Matthew 23:29-39

For you, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which are in Christ Jesus in Judea. For you also have suffered like things of your own (Greek) countrymen, even as they have of the Jews. Who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us. They do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved. They fill up their sins all the way, for wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

These are the divine reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world, and their ongoing persecution at the hands of Satan and his followers to this very day.

BLESSED FIRST, JUDGED FIRST

As I pointed out in my web page titled 'Introduction to Prophecy', God has used the family of Abraham (the people of Israel) to bring the Savior of mankind into the world. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God's promise that Abraham's 'seed' would bring blessing upon all the nations of the world (Genesis 12:3). In the process of providing a Savior, God has also used the Jewish people to give the Bible to the world. These two things, God's Word and His Savior, represent blessings that Israel itself has been the first to receive.

What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way; chiefly because unto them were committed the oracles (the word) of God.

Romans 3:1-2

Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came; who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Romans 9:4-5

The apostle Paul continued this divine pattern in his own ministry. In city after city he proclaimed the Gospel of Christ to the Jews first, before presenting it to the Gentiles:

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles."

Acts 13:45-46

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus "whom I preach unto you" is Christ.

Acts 17:1-3

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Romans 1:16 (Romans 2:9-10)

Because Israel was the first to hear God's word and learn about the coming Savior, she has been the first to suffer punishment for disobeying God's word and rejecting His salvation. But Israel's punishment is more than simple justice. God has also been using Israel to warn the world. When God allowed the first desolation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC, He warned all the Gentile nations of the world that Israel's punishment meant that His judgment must surely come upon them also:

"For behold, I begin to bring evil on the city (Jerusalem) which is called by My name, and should you (Gentile nations) be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth" says the Lord of hosts.

Jeremiah 25:29

Today a memorial to the second desolation of Israel, by the armies of Rome in 70 AD, still stands in the city of Rome. It is the Arch of Titus. In its stone carvings are depictions of the Roman soldiers carrying off the 7-candle Menorah from Jerusalem's Temple. This monument stands as a timeless testimony to the world that the Jews were indeed prior inhabitants of Palestine, that it was the Romans who removed the Jews from their land, and that God always fulfills His words and warnings.



THE ARCH OF TITUS STILL STANDS, CELEBRATING ROME'S CONQUEST OF ISRAEL IN 70 AD

ISLAM: RELIGION OF ANTICHRIST

As I have written in my 'Postscript: Identifying the Players' section at the end of each of my prophecy pages, I believe that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is the 'Antichrist' spoken of by the apostle John.

The Antichrist is referred to in only five verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word 'antichrist' never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John's words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

    A) Those who profess reverence for the Bible, but have departed from biblical truth.
    B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 and 4:3 he seems to refer to one specific person, 'the Antichrist', who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I believe that Mohammed fulfills John's words most fully. Islam claims Biblical roots, and claims to revere Jesus, but fiercely denies that God has a Son and that Jesus is 'Emmanuel' (God in a human body). There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam. Muslims have written 'God has no son' inside their mosque, the 'Dome of the Rock', which sits on the Temple mount in Jerusalem. There can be no bolder, more direct or more deceitful statement of opposition against Christ than this.

I believe that a religion can best be understood by looking at its founder, and the written teachings that the religion is based upon. Mohammed was a warmonger who offered his opponents three basic choices; 1) join him, 2) submit and pay tribute to him or 3) die. This approach to the non-Muslim world is deeply embedded within the 'holy books' of Islam (the Koran and Hadith). In addition, in order to insure that men would follow him into battle, Mohammed established a misogynistic (male dominated) society that stroked male egos and empowered men to do whatever they want with women. This appeal to male lust and pride is nowhere more evident than in the promise that men who die in warfare on behalf of Allah will enjoy many virgins in paradise.

Another trait, that exposes Islam's satanic inspiration, is its oppositioin to both Israel and Christianity. This is exactly how the Bible describes Satan in Revelation 12:13-17. Some point out that Mohammed once wrote some relatively kind things about Christians and Jews. But he wrote these things early in his life, when he was trying to win Jewish and Christian support through peaceful means. When Jews and Christians rejected his god and his claim to be a prophet, he turned upon them with a vengeance. Any honest Muslim scholar will tell you that Mohammed's later writings abrogate anything that he may have written earlier in his life. Thus while Muslims point to Mohammed's earlier writings, claiming that Mohammed was a peaceful man and tolerant of Christians and Jews, they knowingly misrepresent the ultimate official position of Mohammed and Islam; violent opposition to Christianity and the Jews.

The Muslim nations have been defeated repeatedly in their wars against Israel. Now they are trying to conquer Israel by turning the western world, and particularly the United States, against her. Through a two-pronged approach of sweet talk and terror (good cop, bad cop) they seek to accomplish politically what they could not achieve by the sword. While one group of Muslims terrorizes the West, the other group pretends to love the West and detest violence, all the while pressing the claim that terrorism would disappear if the West would stop showing Israel 'favoritism'. This constant whipsaw of Islamic 'love' and 'hate' has worn away at American support for Israel over the years. American news organizations are aiding the Muslim world with their slanted reporting. Their ultimate message is that 'Israel is a major cause of the world's unrest'. Many Americans do not understand what's happening in the Middle East, but they know that they are tired of hearing about the trouble there; and through media bias they are slowly being convinced that the problem is all Israel's fault.

A major aspect of Islamic strategy is to play 'the victim card', and to pursue the 'basic human rights' of Muslims in the western world as an 'oppressed minority'. One of their major efforts is to outlaw any criticism of Islam, defining such criticism as a hate crime. If they succeed in this, they will have injected one of the most fundamental precepts of Sharia Law into the legal DNA of the Western world; that criticism of Islam must not be tolerated. Islamic thought is an intellectual 'virus', and what Muslims have not been able to accomplish militarily, they seek to accomplish intellectually by injecting their moral and religious values into the 'nucleus' of Western thought and jurisprudence; ultimately turning the Western world into a part of the Muslim world. Of course Islam does not practice what it preaches. Religious plurality is not tolerated in the Muslim nations of the world, where anything said in contradiction to Islam and Sharia law is met with brutality and terror.

For decades now the Israelis have sought to reach a reasonable accommodation with their Arab and Muslim enemies. They have made generous offers of land for peace and have vacated Gaza unconditionally, only to be met with refusals, greater hostility and ongoing attacks. God says that Israel's self-abasement before the world will some day come to an end:

Thus says your Lord, the Lord, and your God that pleads the cause of His people "Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; you shall no more drink it again. But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict you; which have said to your soul "Bow down, that we may go over." And you have laid your body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

Isaiah 51:22-23

SOLD FOR ALCOHOL AND SEX

In 1945 the people of the Western 'Christian' world witnessed events of Biblical proportions unfold. They saw World War II end with the use of nuclear weapons, and saw the Jewish survivors of Hitler's camps streaming toward Palestine. They also knew about God's promise that He would restore the Jewish people to their land someday:

"Comfort, comfort my people" says your God. "Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

Isaiah 40:1-2

Therefore thus says the Lord God "Now will I reverse the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy name. After that they have borne their shame and all their trespasses, whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land and none made them afraid. 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. Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused 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. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel" says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 39:25-29

Despite their knowledge of these promises, the leaders of the 'Christian world' decided to betray the Jewish people and divide God's land in order to enrich themselves. How did they do this? By making a large portion of the land west of the Jordan River (the West Bank) autonomous, instead of giving Israel sovereignty over it. This has allowed murderous terrorists like Yasser Arafat, and groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, to obtain a strategic base of operations against Israel and to maintain dominance over that base by both brainwashing and terrorizing their own people. Instead of empowering the Jews to expel belligerent Palestinians from the land, the West has maintained the security of these vicious people, who are now advised, armed and financed by western nations.

Jerusalem and the West Bank were the heart and capitol of ancient Israel. Dividing that land has been like giving the Jews a house to live in, but telling them that their worst enemies would have the key to the front door and own the living room. Instead of partitioning the land cleanly and fairly along the Jordan River, allowing Israel defensible borders, the West has set up a situation where murderous terrorists could kill any Palestinian willing to cooperate with the Jewish state. There are Palestinians who want to live peacefully within Israel, but that have been afraid to say so for fear that they and their families will be killed. The West has allowed the Palestinian people to become a pawn used by Iran, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Israel to prevent peace. The lies told by Israel's neighbors and the Western world in support of this injustice have now sunk to the level of calling Israel evil, oppressive, racist and the enemy of peace; some even liken Israel to the German Nazis. This is an evil that God will address soon.

Why is the West dividing God's land and giving His people to their enemies? In order to please the Arabs and Persians (Iran), and to insure the flow of Middle-Eastern oil to the West. Just as God faithfully watched over Abraham's son, Ishmael, and provided him with a well that preserved him when he and Abraham parted company (Genesis 21:19), so today the sons of Ishmael have been given abundant wells to meet all of their needs. Those oil wells have left the Arab world incredibly wealthy, and more than able to absorb any Palestinians who might not choose to live peaceably under Israeli governance. Today oil is the foundation of every industrial nation. Whoever controls the world's oil controls the world.

America and her allies want to influence the world's oil supplies in order to enrich themselves and enjoy a decadent lifestyle. Betraying Israel into the hands of its enemies has proven to be the most effective way to do so. God has described the western world's betrayal of the Jewish people in its pursuit of this lifestyle; one defined by the pursuit of sex and alcohol:

For, behold, in those days and in that time, when I shall bring again (reverse) the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat (meaning 'the valley of judgment'). And I will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

Joel 3:1-3

Forever consistent with themselves, Western media organizations (who gather much of their profits through the promotion of sex and the sale of alcohol) continue to promote the dividing of ancient Israel, portraying the Jews as 'oppressors' and the 'Palestinians' as victims. As far as God is concerned, U.S.A. stands for 'Unrestrained Sex and Alcohol'.

In 1917 England declared its willingness to assist the Jews in re-establishing their ancient homeland (the Balfour Declaration). In 1922 England was given international authority to achieve that goal through a League of Nations Mandate. England promptly used a majority of the mandated land to establish the Arab nation of Jordan, and then resisted Jewish immigration into the land that remained. The Arab people were eager to block the return of the Jews, and to establish the existence of a large 'Palestinian' population in the Jewish portion of the Mandate. In cooperation with this goal, Great Britain placed tight quotas on Jewish immigration to Palestine, while they turned a 'blind eye' to Arabs entering the region.

In the 1930's thousands of Jews sought to escape Hitler and enter Palestine, but Britain blocked them, allowing them to be systematically murdered by the Germans. The British thought their policies would secure Arab cooperation and oil during and after WW II, but the Arabs liked Hitler more. Britain's treatment of the Jews was acceptable as far as it went, but Hitler's policies were more to Arab liking.

With the end of World War II, the surviving Jews of the world clawed their way back into their ancient homeland, seeking a place of safety in an overwhelmingly hostile world. The 'Palestinians' had been allies of Adolf Hitler during WW II, and supported him in his effort to exterminate the Jews. America's leaders were well aware of that. But western leaders only acknowledged the State of Israel begrudgingly, conflicted by their desire to please the oil-rich nations of the Middle East. This remains the policy of leaders in the western world to this present time.

America itself, with its new abilities to produce oil and natural gas through fracking and new drilling technology, doesn't need Middle Eastern oil and gas for itself. But America is part of a much larger 'western' economy, and its allies in Europe, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere do need that oil. Controlling oil keeps such alliances intact; losing the control of oil undermines them. In order to understand Israel's dilemna today, one need only recognize two things: Satan's hatred for Israel, and the willingness of men to turn Israel over to her enemies in the pursuit of their own pleasure.


ISRAEL'S FUTURE (ISRAEL MEETS ITS 'JOSEPH')

JESUS REVEALED TO HIS BROTHERS

Not only does Revelation chapter 12 explain the past 1900+ years of Jewish history, but it also points us to the immediate future of the Jews. The description of Israel in Revelation 12:1, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a garland of 12 stars upon her head, harkens back to a dream that Jacob's son, Joseph, once had:

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, saying "Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowed to me". And he told it to his father (Jacob) and to his brethren. And his father rebuked him and said unto him "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to you?

Genesis 37:9-10

Jacob (Israel) rightly understood that Joseph's dream foretold that the entire family would someday bow down to Joseph, and the amazing fulfillment of that dream is described from Genesis chapter 37 to the end of the book. By using Joseph's dream to represent Israel in Revelation chapter 12, God is pointing us to an important fact. God is telling us that Joseph's dream, and God's fulfillment of it when He made Joseph second in command to Pharoah, is prophetic of the relationship between Israel and Christ:

Jesus is Israel's 'Joseph'


Jesus came to the people of Israel roughly 2000 years ago, a Jewish 'brother' wearing a 'many-colored robe' as the 'most-beloved' Son of Israel and of God. The leadership of Israel and the majority of the Jewish people resented and rejected Him. And just as Joseph's brothers hated him especially for his dream that they would someday bow down to him, so the Jewish hatred for Jesus found its culmination in their reaction to His claim that the nation of Israel would bow down to Him at His second coming:

Again the high priest asked Him and said unto Him "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said "I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven". Then the high priest rent his clothes and said "What need we any further witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What think you?" And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on Him, and to cover His face, and to buffet Him.

Mark 14:61-65

Because of Jesus' declaration of His unique 'Sonship', and the sharing of His 'dream' that He would come again to rule over them, Jesus' Jewish brothers turned Him over to the Gentiles (the Romans) to be put to death, just as Joseph's brothers did to him.

Joseph and his brothers
JOSEPH CAST INTO A PIT BY HIS BROTHERS (Genesis 37:24)

But just as Joseph suffered for crimes he did not commit, and then was 'resurrected' from prison and exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh as the 'savior' of Egypt, so also Jesus has been raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of His Father in heaven, to become second-in-command of the universe and the only Savior for all humanity, as King David foretold in his 110th Psalm:

The Lord said to my Lord "Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool".

Psalm 110:1

Today most Jewish people think that Jesus is dead; simply a man from Israel's remote past, never to be heard from again. But He is not dead.

Israel, your brother is not dead!


Jesus is working behind the scenes, still unrecognized by His Jewish brethren, to bring them to acknowledge their individual and national sins, so that they and their nation can be saved. Jesus is using worldwide animosity against the Jewish people to bring Israel to a national repentance that will immediately precede His second coming and the restoration of the Kingdom of David. As bleak as this increasingly intense worldwide hatred for Israel is, faithful Christians need to recognize it for what it is: Jesus' cup placed in Israel's 'sack' (Genesis 44).

The Bible indicates that many Jewish people will not come to their senses until they have been brought to the utmost peril. This is not to say that such extremes are to be desired, but rather that just as Joseph's brothers had to be brought to disaster before they would repent, so the Jewish people will also refuse to face reality until total annihilation threatens them. This stubbornness is not unique to the Jews. I believe that most people who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ have only done so after they have reached the end of themselves. I know this was true for me. A passage in Zechariah describes Israel's circumstances preceding the second coming of Christ, and a future Jewish reception of Him:

"And it shall come to pass in all the land" says the Lord, "that two thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one third shall be left in it. I will bring the one third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say 'This is My people', and each one will say 'The Lord is my God'.


Behold the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem. The city shall be taken, the houses rifled and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley. Half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee, as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You."

Zechariah 13:8-14:5

In His word God describes a day when all Israel will be saved, and will be in a right relationship with Himself:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Zechariah 12:9-13:1

GOD'S PLAN FOR ISRAEL: APARTNESS

Today many people throughout the world accuse Israel of 'Apartheid'. The word 'apartheid' means the separation or segregation of one group of people from another along racial lines. It has a very negative connotation, because it is usually associated with the historic separation between whites and blacks in South Africa. In South Africa the minority white population, which had come to Africa from Europe, colonized the land and imposed segregation, discrimination and oppression upon the native black majority of the country. The word 'apartheid' in and of itself, however, simply conveys the idea of racial separation, without any moral connotation.

Throughout the Bible the nation of Israel is described as a unique nation, separate from all others, set apart by God. The Old Testament prophet Balak saw this separateness:

From the top of the rocks I see him (Israel), and from the hills I behold him. There, a people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations.

Numbers 23:9

The 'separatist' nature of the Jews has been resented by many people for centuries. Today people throughout the world describe Israel as a 'racist' state, because the Jews have resisted assimilation by the rest of the world for 2000 years, and remain a distinct, unique and identifiable people. But Jewish separateness does not stem from racism. Theirs is an 'apartness' established by God, not by the Jewish people themselves. The rest of the world may blur its racial distinctions if it chooses. God Himself has stamped the Jews with an identity that is connected to His own, and which will never be erased.

The Jewish people were removed from their ancient homeland by the Romans, and are now returning 1900 years later (although there has always been a small Jewish population living in the land of Palestine). This return of Jews from throughout the world to the land of Israel has been described as colonialism; the conquest of the native inhabitants of a land by outsiders. Thus the combination of Jewish racial separateness, together with their re-conquest of their ancient homeland, has been likened to the unjust apartheid imposed upon native black South Africans by white colonists.

President Jimmy Carter has taken a leading role in criminalizing Israel as apartheid. For him to do this, when he teaches Sunday school in a Baptist church and promoted himself as a 'born-again Christian' in his presidential campaign, is deeply reprehensible. President Carter, and others who share his views, claim to seek peace, hiding behind an outward veneer of justice and 'racial equality'. But what they are in fact pursuing is the destruction of the Jewish people.

The key to Israel's survival is twofold:

    1) A recognition of their right to preserve their distinct and separate Jewish identity and,
    2) the right to do so in their divinely-appointed ancient homeland.

Israel does not practice apartheid. Arab citizens in Israel enjoy freedoms, privileges and opportunities that are not available to them anywhere else in the Arab world. Israel merely seeks a defensible homeland; one in which Arabs citizens who are willing to live at peace with Jews can be protected, along with the Jewish people themselves.

DIVINE ZIONISM

Today the Israeli-Palestinian problem is frequently described in terms of human rights, and conflicts among various groups of people. But this is not about human rights, it is about divine rights; the right of the one true living God to place whatever people He chooses in His own land; the land of Zion. Those who fail to recognize this will remain in darkness regarding what is really happening in the Middle East. Israel is not about men vs. men, but about mankind vs. God.

Four thousand years ago God told Abraham that the right of any people to live in Canaan would be directly connected to their moral condition (Genesis 15:16). Four hundred years later God directed Moses and Joshua to destroy the wicked inhabitants of Canaan, and to lead the people of Israel into the land. Today people still criticize God for doing that (particularly the atheists, who love to describe the God of the Bible as bloodthirsty).

Seven hundred years after Moses, God punished the Israelites for their wickedness. In two stages He removed them from the land, first using the Assyrian army to remove the ten tribes of northern Israel (in 722 BC), and then later using the armies of Babylon to remove the remaining Jews from the land in 586 BC. Seventy years later God moved King Cyrus of Persia to allow the Jews to return to their land. Then, several hundred years after Cyrus, God used the armies of Rome to punish the Jews again, dispersing them throughout the world (in 70 AD). Now, after nearly 2000 years of dispersion, God is bringing the Jewish people back to the land once again.

Today's conflict is not between nations or races, but between the nations of the world and God. The return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland is not about Jewish choices, but about God's choices. The problems in the Middle East do not revolve around questions of human rights, but around God's rights, and mankind's opposition to those rights. God is going to place His King, the Lord Jesus Christ, upon David's throne in Zion (Jerusalem), and restore a repentant Jewish nation to a special relationship with Himself.

Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us." He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His strong displeasure: "Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion (Jerusalem)."

Psalm 2:1-6

Satan is using talk about fairness and Palestinian rights to stir up the nations in opposition to God, but God will not be defeated. When this conflict comes to a head, the Lord Jesus will return and destroy those who said 'We do not want this man to rule over us' (Luke 19:14,27).

WHAT WILL DAVID'S FUTURE KINGDOM BE LIKE?

Many have wondered what life in the nation of Israel will be like after David's promised Son, Jesus Christ, comes back to re-establish David's kingdom and rule the world. Who will live there? Normal human beings, or glorified saints? Will only Jews live there, or will there be Gentiles also? What will Jesus look like when He dwells in the midst of the people of Israel? Will God the Father be there too, or will He remain in heaven above? For a long time I had not realized that God has given us a revelation about what that kingdom will be like.

As Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem for the last time, knowing that He would be crucified there, He began to tell his disciples what would happen. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him for such thoughts, saying that such a thing should not be allowed to happen. Jesus rebuked Peter, calling him 'Satan', and then explained to His disciples that unless a person follows Him to the Cross, he cannot be Jesus' disciple (Matthew 16:21-28, Mark 8:31-38, Luke 9:22-27)

Immediately after Jesus instructed His disciples to recognize the necessity of His approaching death, He told them that there were some there among them who would not die until they had seen His glorious second coming:

Verily I say unto you, there are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.

Matthew 16:28 (Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27)

Personally I had always thought that Jesus was referring to the fact that most of these same disciples (except Judas Iscariot) would live to see Jesus after His resurrection, and would experience the power of His coming kingdom at Pentecost. I also suspected that John's reception of the book of Revelation fulfilled this prediction by the Lord. But now I have come to believe that Jesus fulfilled this promise much more quickly; in fact six days later, when He was transfigured on the mountain before Peter, James and John.

Right after Jesus' prediction, each of the Gospels takes us immediately to the mountaintop where Jesus was transfigured before His disciples and talked with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-9, Luke 9:28-36). But what reason do we have, apart from its close proximity to Jesus' promise that some would see His coming Kingdom, to think that Jesus' transfiguration on the mountain fulfills that promise, and is a picture of David's coming kingdom? I believe that Peter himself tells us:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory; "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.

2 Peter 1:16-18

Here Peter says that he had made known the "power and coming" of Jesus to his readers, having seen it himself on the mountain as an eyewitness to "His majesty". Peter had seen a representation of what people in the coming kingdom of David will be like. So what can we gather from Peter's experience? There will be four types of persons represented in David's Kingdom:

    1) Normal flesh-and-blood human beings, like Peter, James and John. I believe that these people who will be living in Israel will be almost exclusively Jewish. There will be representatives of the Gentile nations who will come to Israel to worship Israel's God and King, but the citizens of Israel themselves will be Jewish. I think this continuation of the human race, reproducing and repopulating the world during the Millennium, is clearly foretold in God's word.

    2) There will be glorified saints, represented by Moses and Elijah on the mountain, who will be present in David's earthly kingdom, and whom the people of earth will be able to see, and with whom they will be able to talk. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ's saints will return to earth with Him, to rule the earth, and that they will have glorified spiritual bodies like His.

    3) Jesus Himself will be physically present in Israel, and His glory will be radiant, like the glory exhibited upon the mountain before His disciples. It is this glory that will shine from one end of heaven to the other when He returns, and it will be this "brightness of His coming" which shall consume Paul's 'Man of Sin' (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Peter, James and John were given a very accurate picture of what their Messiah will look like when He comes.

    4) Lastly, God the Father will not be physically present in Israel. He will remain in heaven, glorifying His Son and communicating with His people from above. I think this is indicated by the fact that when Satan, Gog and Magog attack Israel for the last time, fire will come down from 'God in heaven' and consume them. We do not see the Father dwelling with His saints until a new heaven and earth are established, along with a New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).

It is important to observe that Jesus appeared with Moses and Elijah on the mountain. Moses and Elijah were the greatest of men to the Jewish people, and they also represent God's word, known to the Jewish people as 'The Law and the Prophets'. God the Father was telling Jesus' disciples, and the rest of Israel, that Jesus' words are to be considered not only equal to those of Moses and Elijah, but superior, because whereas Moses and Elijah were God's servants, Jesus is His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2, 3:3).

One of the most precious truths about this transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain is seen in the words of Peter. The Gospels tell us that the disciples were overwhelmed by the vision, and that Peter didn't even know what he was saying. Yet Peter, by the grace of God and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said exactly what he was supposed to say:

Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

Matthew 17:4

Why were Peter's words appropriate? Because the Jewish feast of Tabernacles or Booths, comes in the seventh month of the Jewish religious calendar, and is symbolic of that day when the Jewish people will be restored finally and forever to the Land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter's words represented exactly what the Jewish people will be saying and doing when their Kingdom is gloriously restored:

Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land (symbolizing the great ingathering of the Jewish people to their God), you shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And you shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And you shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days. All that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

Leviticus 23:39-44

It is interesting to note that it will be the Feast of Tabernacles that the nations of the world will be commanded to come to Jerusalem and observe during the Millennium (Zechariah 14:16-19). Zechariah chapter 14 gives a detailed description of Jesus' second coming to Jerusalem, and the glorious future of that city and the land of Israel. Ezekiel chapters 40-48 also describe the future glory of Jerusalem, its Temple and the division of the land among the tribes of Israel during the Millennium.

THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL

Some have understood the apostle Paul to say that when Jesus comes back, every Jew who will be then present within the nation of Israel will either already have repented and believed in Him, or will be converted upon seeing Him:

For I wish not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."

Romans 11:25-27 (Isaiah 59:20-21)

I do not believe that this is what Paul was saying. Jesus is going to come back to judge the world. That judgment will include the nation of Israel. Those Jews who have repented of their sins and turned to Him will become citizens of Israel. Those who will have opposed Him and done things like taking the Mark of the Beast, will suffer the same judgment as anyone else. I believe that what Paul is saying is that when Jesus re-establishes the Kingdom of David, 'all Israel shall be saved' because, after Jesus has completed His judgments, the only Israelis left will be Christians. To believe otherwise is to be unrealistic about the vehement anti-Biblical, anti-Christian and even anti-Israeli sentiment found among Jewish people today, both within Israel and among Jews dispersed throughout the world.

The Bible declares that the nation of Israel will some day be organized and ruled by Jesus Christ Himself, together with 144,000 young Jewish men who will be sinless (Revelation 7:1-8, 14:1-5). I do not believe that this nation will be established, however, without some serious 'house-cleaning' having been done first. I believe that, even now, this 'house-cleaning' is underway, as Jesus is using the mounting worldwide hostility against the nation of Israel to prompt Jewish people to evaluate what their Jewishness means to them, and to make choices about their relationships with the God of the Bible.

The Bible speaks of a biological 'Israel' comprised of the many millions of Jewish people who have lived throughout history. And then it speaks of a 'remnant' of Israel; a small portion of the Jewish people who will be saved eternally because they have obeyed God, believed in Israel's Messiah and entered into the worldwide blessings promised by God.

Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom; we would have been made like Gomorrah (completely destroyed).

Isaiah 1:9, Romans 9:29

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again depend upon him that struck them; but shall depend upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

Isaiah 10:20-23, Romans 9:27

The apostle Paul wrote at length about God's dealings with biological Israel in Romans chapters 9-11. He pointed out that while it occasionally seemed as though no Jew was obedient to God, even then God had people within the Jewish nation who were faithful to Him:

I say then, has God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people which He foreknew. Know you not what the scripture says of Elijah, how he made intercession to God against Israel, saying "Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars; and I am left alone and they seek my life"? But what says the answer of God unto him? "I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:1-5

In his letters Paul talked about a subset of the Jewish people who, because they had trusted in God's promise of Messianic blessing, had become 'children of the promise'. They had become offspring of Abraham not only biologically, but also spiritually through Abraham's Seed. In Galatians chapter 6 Paul referred to them as 'the Israel of God':

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but in Isaac shall your seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Romans 9:1-8

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:15-16

Paul wrote of a future day when there will be a great turning to God among the Jewish people; when many will embrace God's first promise to Abraham of blessing for all the nations of the world. It will be from among these repentant Jewish people that God will reconstitute the Kingdom of David in the land of Israel, governed personally by Jesus Christ Himself. God will show His great love and faithful regard for the biological family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from within the larger context of His worldwide grace.

For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As it is written "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Romans 11:25-27

"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob" says the Lord. "As for Me, this is My covenant with them", says the Lord: "My Spirit that is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your children, nor out of the mouth of your children's children" says the Lord, "from henceforth and for ever."

Isaiah 59:20-21

In these events described above, we see God's fulfillment of His second promise to Abraham; that someday he and his 'Seed' will possess the land of Israel forever. We are told not only by Paul, but throughout the Bible, that a biologically Jewish people will return to their land and the Kingdom of David will be gloriously restored in the last days.

We need to understand that God's two promises to Abraham are not independent of each other; the second is completely dependent upon the first. No Jew can enjoy the Kingdom of David who has not first addressed the problem of sin that plagues all human beings. Jesus is the promised Son of David, but more importantly He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the whole world; that of Israel as well as the rest of the nations. Although there may be some aspects of the Jewish experience that are unique to them, all people who are the spiritual offspring of Abraham will have equal access to God as His children, and will enjoy His love eternally through the shed blood of Christ.

Although Jewish people are not 'special', in and of themselves, this does not mean that God is not free to glorify Himself by doing something special with them. The fact that no one can be blessed without first entering into a grace that makes no distinction among nations, does not mean that God cannot form a distinct nation from among the people who have entered into that grace. This is what He has chosen to do.

If you are a Gentile, I would simply tell you that Jesus is going to do what He said He will do in Joel 3; enter into judgment with the nations. Over the past 1900 years Christians who have persecuted the Jews have allied themselves with Satan himself. It is true that the Jewish nation rejected its Messiah, and has brought judgment upon itself. This is an unavoidable message throughout the Bible, beginning with Moses and the prophets, and continuing with Jesus and His apostles. But it is one thing to recognize this truth and to humbly and fearfully ponder it; it is another to join with those who oppress the Jews, shed Jewish blood and oppose the restoration of the kingdom of David under Christ.

Jesus is going to address this issue, restoring His erring family while taking vengeance upon those who have abused them. If you have been a faithful Christian this should cause you to rejoice, just as Joseph's wife (and the household of Pharaoh) rejoiced when Joseph and his family were reunited. If it doesn't cause you to rejoice, or if you don't believe it's going to happen, you might want to re-examine the scriptures. God never intended that the fall of the Jews should end in Israel's total destruction. It was meant as an opportunity for the Gentiles to hear the Gospel (Romans 11:11-36), to demonstrate the certainty of Christ's words and God's judgments to the world, and to allow Gentiles to pray for and seek the restoration of Abraham and his family to the land.

Thus says the Lord of hosts "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the nations that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased (with Israel), and they helped forward the affliction (of Israel)". Therefore thus says the Lord, "I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it", says the Lord of hosts, "and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet, saying 'Thus says the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem'".

Zechariah 1:14-17

AN INVITATION TO JEWS

To my Jewish reader I would say this: I am not speaking to you as a member of any Christian denomination. I am an independent Christian. For many centuries false Christians have impoverished Jews and shed their blood, driving many Jews away from their own Messiah. Now, with their weak apologies, they would invite you to join in their 'ecumenical movement' as they use religion to pursue world unification and a false peace. They would deceive you again, if possible, regarding the true nature of your own religion, and cheat you out of your portion in the rapidly approaching kingdom of David.

Whether or not you choose to listen to their words (versus their actions) is up to you. I would simply encourage you to 'go over their heads'. Read the New Testament account of Jesus and His apostles for yourself, and reacquaint yourself with the Old Testament. Let Jesus speak to you directly through His own words. You will find that He is nothing like those who have abused you in His name. I speak as a biblical Christian. I know that I am a wild 'Gentile branch', grafted by God's mercy into a 'Jewish tree' (Romans 11:17-22). In light of that fact I would plead with you; discover what your Jewish heritage is really all about.

The story of Israel truly is the story of the woman, the child and the dragon. Israel is the woman who has given birth to the promised Son of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and David. Because that Son has conquered the author of all the evil in the universe, the Jewish people have been under a demonically inspired attack for over 1900 years. But Israel's Child has not forgotten His family. He is coming back to lead it to its promised glory. The prophet Isaiah foretold this ultimate victory of Israel's 'Child' many years ago:

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end; upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS


1) THE BEAST (Daniel 7, Revelation 13:1-10, Revelation 16:13, Revelation 17:3-18, Revelation 19:19-20)

The Beast first appears as the fourth beast of Daniel 7, having one head and 10 horns. In the New Testament it becomes a Beast having 7 heads and 10 horns. The Beast is militant, organized, God-opposing humanity. We are told that the Beast of Revelation has been authorized by God to continue throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel; in other words from 70 AD until the present. For a fuller explanation of the Beast, I refer my reader to my web page titled The Beast and the False Prophet.


2) THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18, Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10)

This is the second Beast described in Revelation 13. It is described as coming up out of the earth or land. It possesses the traits of a false prophet, appearing like a lamb while speaking like a dragon (Satan). The False Prophet does not experience the long lifespan of the Beast; from 70 AD until the present. The False Prophet is a product of our modern times. It performs three miracles, corresponding to today's technology. It brings down fire from heaven through the technology of airplanes and powered flight. It causes an image to come alive and speak, through the technology of movies, television and smart phones. It will impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world through Block Chain technology; a 'distributed ledger' computer system that will revolutionize the economy and the administration of the world in the immediate future.


3) THE WOMAN, HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON (Revelation chapters 17 & 18)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:9,18 where she is described as being seated upon seven hills, and as 'that great city' which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation.

I have discussed the city of Rome, and its transition from being the seat of Roman power prior to 69 A.D. to being a religious center after 69 A.D., in my web page titled The Beast and the False Prophet. I explain Bible prophecy regarding the religion of Rome in my web page titled The City of Rome in Prophecy.


4) THE APOSTLE PAUL'S 'MAN OF SIN' (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The apostle Paul's 'Man of Sin' is described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Paul was not describing a single man, but a unique class of men; the Roman Catholic priesthood. How is this true? The Roman Catholic priest claims that, in the Roman Catholic sacrament of the Mass, he is literally reconstituting the very body and blood of Jesus Christ at his altar, and is re-offering it to God on behalf of mankind as an atonement for sins. In addition, the Roman Catholic Church claims to be Christ's 'vicar' or representative upon earth, exercising His authority to interpret the Bible and add to it, and exercising His authority to authorize holy wars.

This is how Rome's priests portray themselves to the world as God, seated in the Temple of God. The only Persons who can rightfully make that claim are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Mary is not one of these divine Persons. The Roman Catholic Church has usurped the Biblical offices of the Lord Jesus Christ; that of Prophet, Priest and King. And so while God tells people to come directly to His Son by faith, hearing Him by reading their Bibles and speaking to Him by prayer, Rome says that we must come to Rome. Rather than represent Jesus Christ before the world, Rome competes directly against Him for the souls of men. For further information about Rome, I refer my reader to my web pages titled 'The City of Rome in Prophecy', 'The Beast and the False Prophet', and 'The United States in Prophecy'.


5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word 'antichrist' never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John's words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

    A) Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
    B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John's description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or to respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link 'the Antichrist' with any other passage of scripture. The term 'antichrist' is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John himself wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have felt free to plug the Antichrist into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is 'the Prince who is to come' (of Daniel 9:26), the 'Abomination of Desolation', Paul's 'man of sin', and 'the Beast' that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire (along with the False Prophet). One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John's very limited words about 'the Antichrist'.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, 'the Antichrist', who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. One candidate to consider would be Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but fiercely denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was 'Emmanuel'; 'God with us' in a human body. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam.

Muslims have written 'God has no son' inside their mosque, the 'Dome of the Rock', sitting on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and its possession by the Gentiles until His second coming, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque on the Temple Mount.


6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Olivet Discourse for an explanation of this fact, and see The Timetable for Jesus' Return for a discussion of Titus).


7) THE 'PRINCE WHO IS TO COME' OF DANIEL 9:26 - also the Roman general Titus.


8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8 The United States of America (see The United States in Bible Prophecy)


9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9 The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God's host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel's transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome's complete history can be found.


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(Bible quotations are from the old King James version, with modifications by the author.)