dispersion began to draw to a close in May of 1948 when, against all
odds, Israel was reborn
as a nation.
||"Reborn" is a truly ironic
word. When a Jewish leader came to Jesus, anticipating the replacement
of Imperial Rome's military occupation of Palestine with the
establishment of the Kingdom of God, the Rabbi Jesus told him,
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God" (John
3:3). Is Hal Lindsey saying that all the Jews were born again in
1948? Suppose Adolph Hitler, in 1940, after invading Poland, renamed
Poland "Israel." (But no Jews allowed, of course.) Would
this nation of "Israel" have any Biblical significance? No.
Just because someone calls a piece of real estate "Israel"
doesn't mean the Kingdom of God has arrived. (in 1948, it was Great
Britain doing the name-changing).
has created unique problems for the world. Never before has a people
been scattered for almost 2,000 years, remained virtually a nation in
exile, returned to claim their ancient homeland and then been reborn
as a nation. The Arabs and all Muslims say Israel has no right to this
land because they took it for Allah by Jihad, or holy war, centuries
ago. According to their belief, Mohammed ascended to heaven from
Jerusalem. Therefore, it is considered their third holiest place.
||This misses the point. Israel has no
right to the Holy Land because they violated the conditions of the
covenant that God made with them, and He kept His promises by kicking
them out of the land. This promise "was literally
fulfilled," as Lindsey said above. Jews
must be "born again."
secular world, especially Europe, sees the state of Israel as a
nuisance that hinders the free flow of oil from the Arab nations. So
they mostly side with the Arabs for economic reasons.
||Look at this
map. How does Israel "hinder the free flow of oil from
oil-producing nations" like Saudi Arabia? Don't the oil tankers
sail up the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal, and into the
are two different attitudes toward Israel's right to statehood in the
Holy Land among Christians. One group interprets Bible prophecy in an
allegorical sense and says that Israel forfeited its covenant rights
when it rejected Jesus as Messiah. A few in this group say that Israel
in any event can never be given the land by God until they repent and
believe in the true Messiah.
||Yes, but what does
"allegory" have to do with it? Where have I treated any
Bible verse as an "allegory?" I'm treating the Bible as
literal history. (See more below.)
there are those Christians (and I am one of them) who simply take at
face value what God has promised the Israelites. The prophecies of
Ezekiel chapters 36 through 39 are one example. They all focus on the
present Arab-Israeli conflict, which closely precedes the Messiah's
coming to set up God's promised kingdom to Abraham's believing
||Reading these chapters and taking
them at "face value" couldn't possibly lead an objective
reader to the conclusion that nuclear war in the 21st century is being
described. These verses simply are not focusing on "the present
Arab-Israeli conflict" in 2008. Read
Nonsense of Plain Sense
Problem of Ezekiels Temple/City Vision
is describing an ancient war, fought with wooden spears and bows
and arrows. How Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye find nuclear
weapons in these chapters is astonishing, especially after
they criticize others for "allegorizing." Taken at face
value, in its plain meaning, or "literally" as some like
to say, Ezekiel is probably prophesying the great attempt to wipe
out Israel which is recorded in the little-studied Book of Esther.
God warns all of the nations that surround Israel, "Thus says the
Lord God, 'Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the
rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who appropriated My land
for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with scorn of
soul, to drive it out for a prey.'" (Ezek. 36: 5)
"Edom" refers to the Arabs descended from Esau. The
surrounding nations are all Muslim today.
||"Arab" should not be
equated with "Muslim." If all the nations surrounding
modern-day Israel were anti-Semitic Catholics descended from
Esau and bent on destroying the Jews, it wouldn't make Ezekiel 36-39
apply to the 21st century. The reference to "Edom" is a
reference to genetic heritage, or to a non-Jewish enemy, but not a
particular religion which didn't even exist in Ezekiel's day.
"Edom" can represent Haman
in the Book of Esther.
that God says, "My Land." The Muslims don't own it,
neither do the Jews God owns it. He gives it to whom He chooses
and not on the basis of human merit.
||"Not on the basis of human
merit," but on the basis of keeping the conditions of God's
God declares to whom and why He is going to give the
Holy Land, "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the
Lord God, 'It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am
about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the
nations where you went. And I will vindicate the holiness of My
great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have
profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord
" And then, "For I will take you from the nations, gather
you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. Then
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean
give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.
- Those descendants of Abraham who were born again received a
new heart, a new spirit, and entered the New Jerusalem (Hebrews
11:16; 12:22; Romans
4:6). The Hebrews were told (Hebrews 8) before the destruction
in A.D. 70:
- 8 For
He finds fault with them when He says:
the days are coming, declares the Lord,
I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
with the house of Judah,
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land
For they did not continue in My covenant,
so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of
after those days, declares the Lord:
will put My laws into their minds,
them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
they shall be my people.
they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
for they shall
all know Me,
from the least of them to the
will be merciful toward their iniquities,
I will remember their sins no more."
In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one
obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready
to vanish away.
Church is Israel Now
Bible clearly shows that God is going to give "His Land" to
Israel. Not because they deserve it, but because His great name is at
stake God cannot break a promise. It is after this that God
will bring the Jews to repentance and give them a new heart. He will
accomplish this through delivering them from a coming war that will
almost destroy the world.
||The Bible clearly shows that God gave
the entire planet to His People: those who were sprinkled with the
water and the Word, given a new heart, made
true sons of Abraham. God has kept His promises, and Abraham
looked forward to that day. There is nothing in the Bible that
speaks of a war in the 21st century.
disciplines His own for disobedience, but He never disowns them. We
who are Christians can thank God for that, or we would have all been
disowned. God has thrown his gauntlet into the arena with His promises
to Israel. And Hell will freeze over before He fails to fulfill them,
though the whole world tries to prevent it.
||America was once dedicated to
command to be "a City on a Hill."
In 1892 the United States Supreme Court described this Christian
dedication to be a Christian
nation. The federal government is now spending $3 Trillion to
protect a nation that rejects their Messiah. Thousands of Americans
have died, more than a million Iraqis have been killed. All this
because of a mis-reading of the Bible.
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