Before examining this subject we should be sure that we are building on a firm foundation; the Holy Scriptures.
1. WE believe God’s covenant with Israel is as eternal as His covenant with the Church ………………….
2. We believe that the Holy Bible (The Scriptures), containing the Old and New Testament …………….., is the plenary inspired Word of God, inerrant and infallible, the sole and final authority for all matters, being the all sufficient rule for faith, conduct and practice for all born-again believers.
God made several covenants with Abraham and confirmed them with Isaac and Jacob, and God’s covenants will not be abrogated by man’s will, or man’s disobedience.
The conflict in the Middle East, in the Promised Land, has its roots in Scripture, and the prophecies, which we will examine, are of incomplete fulfilment. The Arab leaders and their followers have a watchword – “We will drive Israel into the sea.”
Up until 1919 the Omdurman Empire had the rulership over Palestine as it was then called. Then the British Empire was given the mandate over that land. The mandate was to allow the Jewish people back into their land. We did! A mere 75,000 of them before slamming the door. The reason? Economic! We needed to keep in with the Arabs because of the oil concessions and pressure was brought to bear to which we succumbed. Then in 1946 – 48, we sent gun-boats to the Middle East to prevent the influx of the hundreds of thousands evacuees and survivors of the Holocaust. Those who were captured we put into prison camps on Cyprus. From one prison experience to another. But God had His way, and in 1948 the nation of Israel was founded and accepted by the rest of the world, having their own government, and flag, and army, and all that goes into making a nation of substance.
Then their real troubles started with the Arabs trying to take back the land that was never theirs in the first place. Hence the present troubles in Israel.
God is most explicit through His prophet Ezekiel in chapter 35 : 1-6
Moreover, the Word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophecy against it, and say to it, Thus says the Lord God. Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, and make you most desolate. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live, says the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.
Mount Seir is Jacob’s brother Esau. Esau has never forgiven Jacob to this day for having ‘stolen’ his birthright and inheritance, even though it was given away and not actually stolen. Only the blessing was received by deceit.
Remember this: Mount Seir and Edom in the Bible refer to Esau. Genesis 36:8,9 says this. So Esau dwelt in Mount Seir, Esau is Edom, and this is the genealogy of Esau the father of the Edomites in Mount Seir.
That takes care of the present day conflict in Israel, but what of the rest of the nation who are dispersed all over the world? Well, the land could not possibly support such a huge number of people. When Israel is absent from the land it becomes a wilderness, unable to support any large numbers. When Israel is present the land prospers and is productive. The present occupants are merely the advance party, put there to make the land prosper and produce abundantly, sufficiently, to cater for the whole of the nation when they are re-gathered from their adoptive countries, as they must be for Scripture to be fulfilled; as in Ezekiel 34 : 11-13
For thus says the Lord God; Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places in the country.
Ezekiel 36 : 8, 24
But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
So it’s going to happen! All the Jews in all the world are to be returned to Israel and once in their own land they will eventually acknowledge that Jesus Christ is and has always been their long awaited Messiah. But it will really take three crises to bring them to that place in Jewish history. It will be a long hard journey with more suffering than has ever been recorded – not even the holocaust can match the events of those not so far off days.
Turn to Deuteronomy 28 from verse 64.
Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known – wood and stone. And among those nations you shall find no rest nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place, but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, Oh, that it were evening! And at evening you shall say, Oh, that it were morning! Because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way in which I said to you , You shall never see it again. And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.
Only the Lord knows how He will accomplish this – but we are allowed to speculate, and the only way I can see it happening (knowing the hatred that most nations have for the Jews, even though they try to keep it under wraps for the sake of ‘civilisation’) is by them to be driven out of their adoptive countries by nothing less than anti-Semitism. This is why we have such a huge compassion for the Jewish people. But however God uses the situation it will be done. The world’s Jews will be taken back to Egypt. That is the first crisis!
The second is after they arrive in Egypt and the Egyptians hate all Jews and our people will have nothing with which to sustain themselves. This is the second crisis and this one will cause them to once more cry out to God for deliverance; and God, as always, will hear their cry.
Ezekiel 30 : 1-5 repeats what we read in chapter 28, but leaving out the details of the ships and slaves. Don’t be confused; this has nothing to do with the return from Babylon under Nehemiah and Ezra. This is a world-wide re-gathering.
Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. (This leaves out the Egypt bit). Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
What happens when the land is occupied by Israel will be the subject of much eschatological discussion; but they have not yet acknowledged Christ as King.
This will take a third crisis!
And that will be at Armageddon, when Israel sees the massing of the nations in the valley of Megiddo ready to march on Jerusalem. They imagine their annihilation – their final crisis – and cry out to God – they will see “Him whom they pierced.” coming with His armies to deliver them and will at last cry
ADONAI YESHUA HA’MOSHIACH SHEL ISRAEL
It must happen! It cannot be avoided else the Bible would fail! So our role MUST be deep, sincere, heart-rending intercession, for our Lord to strengthen them in the day of their trials and grant them a courage to endure they would never have thought possible.
Ask God to remind all Jewish people of His promise in Isaiah 41 :10
Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; I will uphold thee with the right hand of MY righteousness.
Was this promise given for such a time as this?
Shalom, and the Lord bless you.
(Outline of a sermon by Bill Chevin, SYMF, October 2004)
Date : 01/10/2004 Author : Bill Chevin