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The Persecuted Church
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                                                                   A time to Weep Eccl. 3:4

Israel, the Jewish people and nation has become the dividing line for the church in the last days. There are more that reject God keeping His covenant with them than those who believe God will never forsake Israel because of his covenant.
Called by many names, known as replacement theology, this predominant false teaching today is infecting many in various ways.

There are a number of covenants God made with Israel, beginning with the Abrahamic that would include his sons Isaac and Jacob which the twelve tribes of Israel come from. In Gen.12 it includes the land, which was never fully given, even though Israel was disobedient, the right to the Land would never be taken from her.

This is proven by when Messiah, Yeshua, ends the Tribulation period by His return, He begins the Millennium ruling from Jerusalem. Which does mean that Israel is significant. More than that, it is key!

The majority of the church has amnesia on the covenants.
"with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer." (Isaiah 54: 8) v.10-11 "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, [and] not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires."

God keeps his promises. No other nation has ever been removed from its homeland as the Jews have and been returned. Yet this happened twice to the nation of Israel. The first time was for 70 years, the second time for over 1900 years. God promised that He would remain faithful to Israel and history proves this. Israel's survival is a testimony to Gods faithfulness of The Abrahamic Covenant, it was unconditional.

God warned if Israel was unfaithful to Him and sinned, He would scatter them "If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations" (Neh.1:8). Yet God promised to bring Israel back to her own nation: "I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, `Give them up!' and to the south, `Do not keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth" (Isa. 43:5,6).

Numerous prophecies speak of a worldwide regathering of the Jewish people in the last days. But to those who hold to Replacementism, they do not see any merit to interpret this being literal. They say God has no restoration for Israel for the future. The church has inherited the promises. Nothing that is happening with Israel today is about prophecy, the modern Jewish State has no significance in these last days.

This Christian animosity of present-day Israel is harmful to the present church. Whether intentional or not they are not the Israel of the Bible. Menachem Begin who was the Prime Minister of Israel, ran his government on the premise that God has a special purpose for Israel in this day and time. No one who reads either the Old or New Testament should misunderstand God's promise in His covenant or the prophets writings.

The Jewish people had to be in Israel for the first coming of Jesus and they have to be in Israel for the return (second coming). Jews from of over 180 nations have come to Israel. We read in Ezek. 37:8, that Israel will be reestablished as a nation before the beginning of Daniel's 70th week (Isa. 28:15-18, 22).
The Jewish people had a worldwide dispersion in 70 A.D. when Titus conquered Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed by his Roman army. The Jews began to be driven from the land and scattered worldwide. This dispersion was completed in 135 A.D., under the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Isaiah 11:l1-12:6 speaks of the final worldwide regathering in faith in preparation for the nations blessing that will result from their corporate repentance. We have watched for over 65 years Jews brought into the land of Israel from the 4 corners of the world. Which is prophesied in Deuteronomy 30:1-6 and Isaiah 41:8-20. It speaks of them gathered from "among all the nations" (Duet. 30-1). This worldwide regathering has begun with the intention of their millennial blessing that precedes the Messiah's Second Coming.

It will take this future period called the Great Tribulation, the time of "Jacob's troubles" to bring Israel to belief. Hosea 6:1-3 the nation that survives through this tumultuous period are gathered together to repent of her national sin Isa.66 Rom.11; Isa.64; Ps.79,80 (Israel's pleading Ps.80:17-18)

In Zephaniah 1:7-18, the prophet describes a period of time that he calls the Day of YHWH or the Day of the Lord. This is the most common biblical term for the Tribulation period in both Testaments is the Day of the Lord. It describes the most terrible, devastating period of time when Israel and the world will have to go through prior to the establishment of the Kingdom. Jesus describes this in Matt. 24:21-22 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened."

Zephaniah 2:1-2 reveals the ingathering that must come before that period of the Day of the Lord.
three times he states before the period of wrath of chapter one comes, there is a gathering of the nation. But this is a gathering in unbelief, for it is a nation that is not yet ashamed of its sins, willing to repent of their rejection of the Messiah. The purpose of this period is to convict them to cause the nation to turn to the true God.

It is time to weep for Israel as to what is coming upon that nation. It is also a time to weep for the church, for too many are blind and do not care to fulfill the mandate to its older brethren the Jews, of whom they are to be indebted to for the Messiah (Rom.11).
There is a direct correlation between the rise and fall of nations and empires with their treatment of the Jews. Nations have been destroyed because of their persecution of the Jew and they have become powerful because of their kindly treatment of the Jew. This fact is recognized even by the Encyclopedia Britannica.
"It is a noteworthy factor of history that great conquerors such as, Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, have always treated the Jews well, on the other hand lesser men endowed with narrower outlooks have failed to recognize the Jew and have sought to crush him. But such methods are contrary to nature and tyranny, and tyranny whether toward the Jew or any other race has never secured permanent results. The same policy of religious unification as characterized subsequent dynasties from the Assyrians to the Romanoffs and the same fate has overtaken them, the Jew has survived there disappearance." (Vol. 13, p.51)

America has over 240 years of freedom we look at our longevity which is no longer than many other countries throughout history. Clearly, God has blessed us in many ways but we have come to a crossroads. What do we do with Israel, are they still a friend or are they now a foe?

Israel began four thousand years ago. Consider that they are still a people who have kept intact their identity and the book God has given them.  No nation who has had so many enemies over such a long a period of time has ever survived She suffered four hundred years of Egyptian bondage and persevered. She was attacked by Canaanites, Amorites, Edomites, and every other "ite" that existed. The Assyrians sought to destroy her and failed. The Chaldeans removed her people from their land and held them captive for seventy years as they returned to a destructed home. Persia, Greece, and Rome tried to rule over her. In our day, Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews and the neighboring Muslims continually try push her into the sea. The small nation of Israel surrounded by enemies is still here! The surrounding Muslim nations want her removed from earth and use the Palestinians to fire up their hatred. Israel is still here. Why? Because God keeps His promises. The survival of Israel is a very powerful witness to the existence of the God of Israel, the covenant keeping God.

The perpetuation of the Jewish people are due to the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, The world should recognize that anti-semitism is more than an ethnic hatred and there is something unusual about all this.

This promise is made in 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." (one would have to disturb the whole solar system to remove Israel)

Rom. 11:1-5 I has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew."

Paul was overwhelmed of his peoples continual rejection that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. (Rom 9:2-5)

Over 1900 years have passed and we are closer to the finish.
The Millennium, the kingdom is classified as being in the latter days. In Isa. 2:2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it."

Micah 4:1-2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

What will happen to those who are the church that have come against the Jewish people in the land?

Luke 21:24 And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Israel will have trouble from those who do not believe in her purpose from God. Mostly from those who have another god, but also those who do not understand the prophecies. We are experiencing the beginning of sorrows, (Matt 24:8) it will become far worse, quickly.

In one of the clearest and greatest explanations in the Bible on the covenant Gentiles have, we find Paul helping the Roman believers understand their relationship to the brethren of Israel and how God will deal with those who have belittled and made the covenant they share in through Israel inconsequential.

Rom. 11:15-29 "For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 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. 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. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 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? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance." (Romans 11:25-29)

The mystery which he refers to is completed by the 70th week, the Tribulation. That God will focus his attention on Israel to bring them to repentance. He has worked among the non - Jews for 1900 years and is soon to turn his focus back to the apple of his eye.

In the history of the family of nation's Israel is unique among them. In the end it will be asked, "Why do the nations rage against God and his anointed.' Many do not realize that coming against Israel, supporting her enemies is doing just this. Jesus will reward those who treated his brethren well, especially through the tribulation, as he judges the nations as king in His return (Mt.25:40).

So we pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, which can only come by Messiah Jesus' return.

Isaiah 30:18-20 Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers.



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