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Weekly Commentary
13031
“Israel Under Attack By Those Who Claim to be Christians”
by Art Sadlier   
March 6th, 2011

Messianic Signs  (Part 1)

One of the major re-occurring themes of the Bible is the constant attacks of Satan and his emissaries on the Jews and on the nation of Israel. This is also one of the re-occurring themes of history. Space does not permit a detailing of the record here, many volumes have been written on this topic.

Satan hates Israel because they are God’s chosen people. God has determined to bless Israel and work through them to bring salvation to them and to the world through them.

Satan hates Israel because he knows that it is God’s intention to send His Son to reign over the Israel and the world from the throne of David in Jerusalem. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).

Satan knows that his hope to rule over this world will be terminated when that happens. Consequently he seeks to destroy both the Jew and Israel. Satan is the only possible explanation for the age long, incredible, almost universal hatred and rage against Israel and the Jew. It is Satanically inspired, as are the attacks of so called Christians against Israel and the Jew. 

These enemies of God’s Word claim that the present day Jews are not the descendants of Abraham and that they have no claim to the Land of Palestine.

First – God’s Word says that the Lord gave the Land of Palestine to Israel forever. “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever” (Genesis 13:15).  That promise was repeated with monotonous regularity, and it was made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.

Second -- The Lord also foretold Israel’s removal from the land because of unbelief.

Third -- We also have the promise of God that in the latter days Israel would be returned to the land and possess it forever. Amos 9:14-15, “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” This promise is also repeated many times in the scriptures.

Modern history gives proof to the fact that God is indeed doing that very thing. Since Israel’s return to the land in 1948, we have the record of the miraculous divine intervention of God in Israel’s affairs. A study of the wars of Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973 will reveal that only the divine intervention of God could have saved Israel. A study of the prosperity and blessing that has come upon Israel since 1948 will be proof beyond any possibility of a doubt that God is fulfilling His promise to restore Israel to the land and to the promised blessing. To be sure, Israel is still in unbelief and the Lord will yet chasten her to restore her spiritually to Himself.

There are over 20 major Old Testament promises to Israel which have been fulfilled concerning her return to the land. God has authenticated the fact that the both the present day Jews and the modern nation of Israel are His people who are the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That confirmation is found in the fact that God has undeniably, in this very day, miraculously fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel’s restoration. Those fulfilled prophecies guarantee that the remaining prophecies concerning Israel will be fulfilled also.

These fulfilled Bible prophecies are a two edged sword. They prove first that God is the Sovereign Lord of the universe who knows the end from the beginning. They also prove that the Israelis are the people of God.

2,500-3,500 years ago the Old Testament prophets predicted events that would take place immediately prior to the coming of Christ to the earth. Those events have been unfolding before our very eyes in the last several decades. There are some 20-25 Messianic signs that are being fulfilled in Israel in our day. God’s Word says that before Messiah comes, those signs will be completely fulfilled.

We want to look at some of the prophecies that prove that we are living in the last days and that the nation of Israel and the present day Jews, are indeed the descendants of Abraham.

Sign # 1 The restoration of Israel to the land that God has promised to them.

Israel has for the last 2,000 years been scattered to the four corners of the earth, just as the Lord said they would be. “And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life” (Deuteronomy 28:64-66).

That was written 3,500 years ago, 1,500 years later that prophecy began to be fulfilled. For the last 2,000 years that has been fulfilled in great detail. For the last 2 millennia the Jews have been hated, maligned and oppressed. There have been many attempts to exterminate them. Lost among the nations, yet preserved by God, like Shadrack, Meshack, and Abenigo - burning, burning, burning in the fiery furnace of affliction, yet not consumed.

2,800 years ago God said, "one day I will bring my people back to their own land." “Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 11:16-17).

Today 6 million Jews have returned to Israel out of every nation on earth. Only a God who is the Lord of history can tell 2,800 years before it happens, what will happen. This is both a confirmation of the God of the Bible and the people of present day Israel.

Those who would deny the return of Israel to the land also make Christ a liar. God’s Word promises that Christ will rule over a re-gathered Israel. 1,845 times that promise is given in the Old Testament; it is given 318 times in the New Testament. Only the hardened heart of unbelief could fail to recognize the hand of God in Israel’s return.

The Bible is the Word of God, every line, every jot, every title, front and back and in the middle. The Bible is the Word of God.

Sign # 2 - From Desolation to Productivity.

The Lord warned Israel that if they rebelled against Him, He would remove them from the land and the land  would become a desolate wasteland. “So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 6:14).

Mark Twain visited Israel 150 years ago. He wrote, “That it was the most God forsaken desolate place in the world. Why anyone would want to live in the midst of such desolation was more than I can understand.”

A lot has changed since then. Israel is now a land that has gone in our lifetime from desolation to productivity. It is now a land of orchards and vineyards which ship all kinds of fruits around the world. Israel is now a land of fruits and vegetables. Europe has a population of 500 million people, in the winter months Israel is now the bread basket of Europe. Israel ships flowers to Holland, they grow cotton in abundance, its’ now a land of grain and rich pastures.

3,500 years ago God said it would happen. 2,800 years ago the prophecy was repeated, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1).

“He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isaiah 27:6). The UN has reported that the soil of Israel is the most productive in the world. Israel sets the standard, 202 tons of tomatoes per acre. 1.2 million Roses per acre per season. 2640 gallons annual milk yield per cow. In the Negev desert citrus yields reach 32 tons per acre. Productivity just as God promised thousands of years ago. All of that has happened in our lifetime, from total bareness to ultimate productivity. Shame on those who are blind to God’s Word and make God a liar by denying what He is doing in Israel and among the Jews.

Sign #3A Nation Born in a Day

One of the most impressive Messianic signs was the rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948.

Isaiah 66:7, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.” This is speaking of Israel’s rebirth as opposed to Israel’s birth as she came out of Egypt. In Israel’s birth in Egypt she suffered travail and pain in the brick kilns of Egypt before she became a nation. At her rebirth in 1948 she suddenly became a nation and has suffered pain and travail after her rebirth.

Isaiah 66:9, “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” Is that talking about Christ or the nation of Israel? Verse 8 gives the answer, “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Isaiah is obviously talking about the nation of Israel and not Christ.

“Shall a nation be born in a day?” That is exactly what happened 2,800 years later. On May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation after 2,000 years. David Ben Gurion declared Israel to be an independent state; God’s Word was fulfilled.

Sign #4 Israel’s Birth would Survive its Planned Destruction

Isaiah 66:9, “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” The Lord is talking here about a still birth or a baby dying at birth. Would Israel die at the time of her rebirth? The clear indication is that there would be an attempt to kill Israel at the time of her rebirth. “Shall I bring to birth, and cause not to bring forth?”

The Lord gives a prophetic answer in verse 10, “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her.” God would preserve her.

That is exactly what happened back in 1948. The Arab nations planned and sought to kill the nation of Israel at the very moment she was born. General George Marshall, spokesman for the U.S. State Department, had warned the premier of the state of Israel, David Ben Gurion, that if he declared an independent state, five Arab armies immediately march against the new nation and within three days there would not be a Jew left alive in Palestine.

But 2,800 years earlier God had said through Isaiah the prophet that He would not allow that to happen. Israel did declare herself to be a sovereign independent State in 1948, The armies of five Arab nations, along with units from other countries, attacked Israel. Those Arab armies were well trained and well equipped. They had artillery and planes and tanks. They swept into Israel from all directions. Their stated goal was to kill every living Jew.

A rag-tag, ill-equipped, untrained, small group of vastly outnumbered Jews with mainly small arms for weapons, defeated the Arab armies and sent them retreating out of Israel. How do small arms defeat planes and tanks and artillery? How did God give Israel all those miraculous victories in Old Testament times?

Space does not allow us to detail with all of amazing fulfilments of Messianic prophecies in our lifetime. We will deal with them at future time. God has demonstrated His sovereign foreknowledge and control of the events that take place in this world. Fulfilled prophecy is proof that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and that the bible is His Word. It further authenticates Israel and Israelis as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom God made these promises.

God has made promises to Israel and He has made promises to the Church. Beware of those who confuse these promises. The promises to Israel cannot be transferred to the Church.  The land and the throne of David cannot be transferred to the Church.

The apostasy of the Catholic Church in the sixth century led them to attempt to establish a literal earthly kingdom in order to rule over men and nations. To justify this they transferred the promises of the kingdom for Israel to the Church. The reformers recovered the great truth that justification is by faith and not by works. However they erred by clinging to the false doctrine that says the promise of the earthly kingdom is transferred to the Church. Those who attack Israel today are knowingly or unknowingly defending the false doctrine of the Catholic Church. They are determined not to give back to Israel the promise of the earthly kingdom, where it rightfully belongs.

The promises of God to Israel involve a land, a seed and blessing, they also involve an earthly kingdom. “And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him“(Genesis 12:7).   

The promises of God to the Church concern heavenly things and a heavenly kingdom.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

The Israelites, to whom the promises were made, are those descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who have been made righteous by the same faith that Abraham was made righteous by. The Church is referred to as the Body of Christ and it is made up of Jews and Gentiles who have been made righteous through the same faith by which Abraham was made righteous.

The Church lives in a special dispensation of time, a time when Israel is temporarily set. Paul explains this in Romans chapter 11 where the entire chapter is given over to the topic. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (until the Church is completed and raptured). And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Paul makes it clear in this chapter that God is not finished with Israel. “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1).

In verse 29, Paul says that when God makes a promise He keeps it, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Remember that the promises of God were not to every Jew; they were only to the seed of Abraham, which does not state that all of the seed of Abraham were necessarily involved.

Remember also, that the promise of God to the Jew was an everlasting promise, “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:7-8).

 I suggest to you that only those who are spiritually blind can fail to see that God is now returning to His working with Israel to restore them spiritually to Himself, and to bless them on the Promised Land and make them a blessing to the world.

We see in Zechariah the culmination of the Lord’s final dealings with Israel to restore them to Himself. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God (Zechariah 13:8-9).

 When that takes place in Luke 1:32-33 will come to pass, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

There is another attack on Israel that is an attempt to discredit the return of Israel to the land. That argument says that the Arab population in Palestine is growing while the Israeli population is declining and that the Israel’s will eventually disappear or be inundated by the Palestinians. That is far from the truth. The following news item proves the point. “The population of Israel on the eve of its 62nd Independence Day is 7.577 million – 9.4 times higher than it was when independence was proclaimed, 62 years ago. The United States' population, by comparison, stands at 309 million, or only 2.1 times higher than it was in 1948.” Israel’s population grew by 1.8% over the past year, about double the rate of the United States.” Just over one fifth of the population is Arab, and over three-quarters (5.726 million) are Jewish. 

“There have been reports that the Palestinian birth rate is higher than the Israeli birth rate and that eventually Israel will be a minority in the land. A recent report confirmed that the reverse is true; the Israeli birth rate is higher than the Palestinian rate. The Palestinian population in the West Bank is actually declining as Palestinians leave the area, while the Jewish population in the West Bank is growing through immigration and the transfer of Jews to Judea and Samaria.

God promised to Abraham a seed, a blessing, and a land. We say, shame on those who call God a liar by denying His Word and misrepresentng the facts concerning the prospects for Israel in the land.       

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