Israel - the dividing of people
There is an abundance of Old Testament promises of the land and the people of Israel. In Genesis 12 the Lord said to Abraham 'Now Yahweh said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto the land that I will show thee." To this nation God will make from Abraham He will give a land. The content of the Land Covenant is found in Deuteronomy 29:10-30:10. It clearly shows that the Land Covenant is distinct from the Mosaic Covenant. As it says in verse 1 besides the Covenant which he made with them in Horeb (the Mosaic covenant). The covenant was made between God and the people of Israel, those who were released from Egyptian bondage.
The Land Covenant is expanded from the original Abrahamic Covenant are unconditional. The covenants that God has made with Israel are eternal and are not in any way changed or altered by time. These unconditional covenants are not abrogated because of Israel's disobedience though the Lord commands them to obey. In Deuteronomy 30 The land covenant promises Israel regathered to Land, vs. 3-4. Israel is to possess ALL the Promised Land, vs. 5 Israel will be regenerated, vs. 6 God will judge Israel's enemies, vs. 7.
The Jewish people have been the most oppressed people throughout history. They have been hated and persecuted, millions died in the Nazi holocaust yet they continue identifying with their people and religion, despite all that has taken place. They survive despite their persecutions, though the majority is in unbelief with only a few as a believing remnant. Israel remains as evidence of God’s promised care and continued plan for them according to His covenant.
Israel’s land covenant is contract between God and them. The assurance that God will give the land to Israel Gen. 15:18: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the [little] river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." Scripture affirms the title deed to the Land belonging to Israel, the dimensions of the land are found in Num. 34:1-15.
Gen. 17:7-8: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Deut. 30:3: “the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you” v.5 “And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it .”
Lev 25:38: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.”
Exod. 6:8: “And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.”
Deut. 1:8: “See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers-- to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-- to give to them and their descendants after them.”
There literally a hundred scriptures that say this promise in the Bible concerning God's covenant with Israel and their land.
To this day the nation has never enjoyed ALL of the Promised Land. We must distinguish between the promise of ownership of the Land on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant and Land Covenant and the actual enjoyment of their being in the Land. This began when Jews entered the Land under Joshua after Moses. But they will not enjoy all of the Land until they become a saved nation, at which point the Messiah will give it to them.
The prophet Ezekiel predicted a restoration of Israel, “Then He said unto me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; … I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel'" (Ezek. 37:11-12).
They have been brought into the land (the ultimate fulfillment is at the resurrection for the Millennium). Ezek. 37:10: "an exceeding great army. V. 13 "And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.” These verses are part of the prophecy of the restoration of Israel. Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37 deal with the restoration of Israel from the four corners of the earth. This prophecy could only come true if Israel is a nation restored to their land. These verses to a certain extent have and are being fulfilled today! Israel is a nation in its land with a great army (Ez.38 is yet to take place).
But still, over half the Jews in Israel are still atheists, they are gathered first in unbelief preparing them for the day of repentance when they will know who their Messiah is and call upon Him (Zech. 12:10-12).
Scripture says Isaiah 66:8, in a day a nation will be born. May 15, 1948 the sovereign State of Israel the Jewish people was made - miraculously reborn as foretold by Bible prophecy for the last days in the same place they had always been. This cannot be explained away as insignificant?
“Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, to which they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land (Ezek. 37:21). Today we see Jews called from all four directions as Is. 43:5-6 states. Jews living in Israel today have come from more than one hundred nations. For this reason we should have confidence that we are witnessing the Last-Days regathering of Israel as stated repeatedly in the Bible; with her enemies surrounding her exactly as the Bible foretold. Ez.38 has not happen, but all the ancient nations mentioned are the enemies of Israel today. Coincidence, I think not.
Moses spoke of Israel's future disobedience to the Mosaic Law that resulted in a scattering over all the world (Deut. 29:2-30:1). God promised Israel -- Neh. 1:8-9: “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,' but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.'
Israel has a history of leaving and then coming back to God. But God has always been willing to take her back and He has always protected her to a lesser or greater extent through her history of doing this.
Isa. 54:6-10: “For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused," says your God. "For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you," says the LORD, your Redeemer. "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has mercy on you.”
Ezek. 39:28 God declares: “I (God) ...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.” This can only be the start of the gathering back to the promised land of Israel for what will end in final regathering in the Messiah’s millennial reign.
The overarching theme to Hitler was to exterminate the Jewish people, instead God turned it around on its head and hands Hitler a defeat and gives the Jews their old homeland and begins to fulfill what he had promised. Yet there are those who want us to believe that God does not care for Israel nor about his promises made to them. This is not found in the worlds view -but some Christians also.
God over 200 times calls Himself “the God of Israel” and has declared Israel his people- the apple of his eye. The title deed to this land is almost 4000 years old, it’s the Bible.
What is still in effect are his covenants -Genesis 12:3: “And I will bless them that bless you and curse him that curses you’”
Jesus said (Matthew 25:40) “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (the Jewish people), ye have done it unto me.” This is especially true of how they are treated in the tribulation period.
On one hand you have the Dual covenant theory that teaches all of the Jews will be saved. For example the Episcopalians wrote, In view of our conviction that Jews are in an eternal covenant with God, we renounce missionary efforts directed at converting Jews” (“A Sacred Obligation Rethinking Christian Faith in Relation to Judaism and the Jewish People,” September 1, 2002)
This teaches that those Jews who live by the Torah have a relationship with God. Others believe they are already saved by the Old covenant. This is Salvation without Conversion? This is easily refuted by the Bible that says “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23) and Paul saying the gospel is to the Jew first. Thus affirming they need to believe as anyone else. Jesus said to Nicodemus the teacher of Israel who snuck out at night to see him Most assuredly I say unto you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus like all Jews were looking for a literal kingdom, but first Jesus had to establish his spiritual kingdom in the heart of his followers. It is first a spiritual Kingdom that Jesus came to bring, as He prepares His people that will one day participate in a literal, physical kingdom under His leadership when He is physically present on earth.
On the other hand you have replacement teaching which says the church is spiritual Israel and the nation of Israel is rejected. If you look this up, you’ll never find the term or concept of the church called Israel or as Spiritual Israel in the Bible.
Both Amillennialism and Postmillennialism are essentially the same concerning the future for Israel. Replacement teaching says any covenant relationship God had with Israel was annulled at the first coming of Christ. Therefore, God is through with the Jewish people as a nation, and there is no legitimate State of Israel, now or in the future. There is to be no Temple built, and no Millennial Kingdom for Israel with Jerusalem as its capital. God has transferred all the promises to the Church. However, The majority of the end of the age prophecies involves Israel. Without this key, one is left not watching or knowing the signs of his return as Jesus told us to do. If you do not have correct Bible perspective on Israel you will adopt a wrong view of the end times.
The Promised Land was never given to the church; she never occupied it as a “nation.” The church was never removed from the Promised land because of her disobedience or taken captive into foreign lands. The word Israel is always descriptive of the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the Scripture we find the Church is not Israel the nation, but a separate entity under an entirely new covenant.
The Church is made up of both believers in Jesus from both Jews and Gentiles, not so for Israel. Israel we are told is in unbelief. The word Israel is used 73 times in the New Testament, not once is it used for the Church. And God treats Israel differently than the church. Romans 9:4. Paul writing of his kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, etc. If you replace the church or Christian with the words Israel or Israelite you completely change the meaning of the verses. Paul declared that Israel isn't saved-Then how could Israel be the church?
The church is not a nation, nor a theocracy but is made up of people from every nation both Jews and gentiles who believe in Jesus- this is the mystery hid from the beginning of the world according to Eph. 1:9-10, 3:6,9 and Col.1:26- Christ in you – the hope of Glory. Therefore the church could not have replaced Israel in prophecy. There is only one nation, one people whom God ever gave a land with specific perpetual promises to -the Jews (Hebrews) alone.
Many insist that Israel has been replaced by the church. In 2002, the faculty of Calvinistic Knox Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (D. James Kennedy, Founder, Chancellor and President, and Professor of Evangelism) issued “An Open Letter to Evangelicals and Other Interested Parties: The People of God, the Land of Israel, and the Impartiality of the Gospel.” This statement, which denied that the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (i.e., the Jews) have any special blessings or place in prophecy, or a claim upon the land of Israel, was signed by seventy-one prominent evangelical leaders, among them R. C. Sproul and Michael S. Horton.
This document declares: Section VI. The inheritance promises that God gave to “Abraham ...do not apply to any particular ethnic group, but to the church of Jesus Christ, the true Israel”
Section IX. The entitlement of any one ethnic or religious group to territory in the Middle East called the “Holy Land” cannot be supported by Scripture. In fact, the land promises specific to Israel in the Old Testament were fulfilled under Joshua. (Reference Judgment Day! Islam, Israel and the Nations by Dave Hunt p.276)
How can this refer to the church that didn't even exist in Moses' or Joshua's day! Scripture says the Israel's land would be from the River of Egypt to the great River Euphrates. This land promise has never been fulfilled with Israel in the land enjoying this in history. Why would all the prophets afterwards write about the land and what would take place there in great detail if it already happened.
Amillennialists tell us that Jesus and the Church are now reigning on earth. If the Church is reigning why is the world in worse condition than ever before? Why are we powerless to influence the world the way we would like? Scripture says that evil and lawlessness will become rampant at the end, so how do we reign over them while they still are allowed to rule here and make the laws?
Those who reject Israel’s significance in Bible prophecy have no foundation to understand the future tense of prophecy being fulfilled in the world right now- they simply do not believe it. With this vital piece missing they become blind to the events that are taking place, events that will involve them.
God did not ever say all of Israel would be destroyed or that he would forsake them, He said the opposite- because of His promises. God’s covenant will not be broken Rom.11:26 All of Israel will be saved. Does this mean that everything Israel does, God approves or turns a blind eye to what is wrong? Absolutely not- as they are to have a higher standard and are always punished double for their sins.
In Jer. 31 right after God promises to forgive our sins because of the new covenant (Jer. 31:35-37) "Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): "If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the LORD: "If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD.”
Only if the sun and the moon and stars are removed will God not be able to fulfill His promise made to Israel. God is committed to the people of His promises. The “new covenant” (Jer 31:31) was actually made to the house of Israel and Judah without conditions and this is the covenant all gentiles are grafted into and we are one in Christ (Rom.11). If it no longer sustains or is applicable to the Jews, how can it for the Gentiles?
Because of the viewpoint of Israel no longer to own its land or part of Bible prophecy a good portion of the church along with the world is putting Israel under pressure to disobey the Lords commands. Joel 3:2 tells us God is eventually gong to gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.”
The UN Road Map for peace is setting Israel into the place of the final conflict, when all nations will gather against it to battle. ‘In that day I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. … For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem ’(Zechariah 12.3, 14.2.)
God is at work fulfilling what he spoke in ancient days. Jer.30:18, 31:8 “Behold I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the ends of the earth.” Isa.43:5: “I will bring your descendants from the east and gather you from the west...”
Rom. 9:27-28: “Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth” (that short work being the Tribulation period of 7 years.)
Rom 11:24: “For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
Rom 11:17-23: “And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
V.22 “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
Israel was broken off because of their unbelief and so can the church. We should not assume just because we believe and do not continue in faith that we are fine. however there is more. If one does not believe in the root that the branches get the life from they are doing exactly what Paul warns not to.
Just as one day Israel V. 23 “And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
If you do not have God’s perspective on Israel you will adopt a wrong view of the end times. God is not finished with them, He is yet to really begin anew.
Scripture clearly prophesies of dispersions and regatherings of the nation of Israel. Since two dispersions and one regathering have already occurred, the present regathering of Israel must be the second and final regathering in preparation for the Messiah's return to reign over the Millennial Kingdom.
There is national day of reconciliation prophesied for Israel, but that will also be an era when “the LORD shall be king over all the earth; that day shall there be one LORD and his name one” (Zech. 14:9).
“My salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel, my glory (Isa. 46:3-5, 9-13).
But this is contingent on Israel recognizing their own Messiah (Zech.12:9-14 call upon him). Satan knows that prophecy depends on Israel being there. God has brought them back into the land, and the enemy of God is doing everything he can to change this, using nations and a religion that opposes her. Satan has pulled out all his resources to prevent prophecy from taking place, even using the church to stop evangelism to Jews and keep them from the inheritance God has promised them
God says in Hosea 5:15: “I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
God will return to his place, which is heaven which He left when He became the man Jesus.
The offense they need to confess is specific their affliction will be the tribulation period. Lev. 26:40-42: “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt-- then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.”
Jesus told them Mt.23:37-39 v:39 “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
A day is coming when the nation will in unison repent and ask him to come back. This will be in the tribulation period. Zech. 13:8-9 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.'"
One of the purposes of the tribulation is to break the will of the Jewish nation that rejected their Messiah for a national regeneration.
We are told to Pray for the peace of Jerusalem- this will only be answered by the Messiah coming back again, only then will there be true peace for them and all the world
Those who say that today's Israel does not have prophetic significance or is a legitimate right to the land stand in opposition to God and to His Word. Indeed, they are denying and in opposition to what the prophets have foretold in Gods Word.
God has declared that the land of Israel was His land, it
is never to be sold (Lev. 25:23) and that all nations would be punished for
dividing His land (Joel 3:2).
Israel as a nation has a right to exist independently, the land was given to her by God, and any decisions, both good or bad are inconsequential to the promises in God's covenants. Gen.12 is specific and still in place. As far as Israel being God's chosen- you either accept the Bible and God's unchanging covenant that is still in effect or you are against it. If you do not accept it you have become an enemy of God for God is for his people Israel.
Psalm 129:5: “Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back.”
The world will be punished for their unbelief in God, and I dare say so will those in the church who take a stand against Israel's right to her land and the promises God has written for her. Despite whatever wrongs she does today she has a a right to the land because of the Lord's promises.
You are either for or against Jesus. This would also apply to your stand on Israel who are God’s people whom Jesus said He was coming back to rescue and restore (Mt.25:31-46). How the church relates to Israel is key to her being blessed or judged.
Whose side you are on in this conflict will weigh out heavily in the end. God says He is for Israel and will keep His promises exactly as foretold. We must make up our mind in this increasing worldwide conflict where we stand- with the worlds opinion who are in rebellion with God or with God who will have His way in the end.