Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory |
of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13)
Jerusalem, a Goblet of Drunkenness |
"A very heavy stone for All peoples"
Recently the United Nations Security Counsel voted unanimously for the creation of a Palestinian State to be carved out of the land of Israel, the land that God promised to Israel by His everlasting covenant. For the first time ever the United States voted in favor of this resolution! The United States has joined with the Arab nations, the European Union, and the United Nations in calling for a division of Israel and Jerusalem to create a Muslim Palestinian nation in the midst of the land of Israel. Just what does the Lord say to the nations who seek to remove Israel from their inheritance, divide their land, and divide Jerusalem?
Zechariah declared that the day would come when all the nations would come against Jerusalem and Judah!
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a goblet of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples. Then they will lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And in that day I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who try to lift it will be severely injured. All nations of the earth will gather for war because of it." [Literal translation from the original Hebrew] (Zechariah 12:2-3)
The Holy Land today is filled with violence. One peace plan after another is proposed and quickly they all fall apart. With every cease-fire comes another round of terrorists attacks on Israel. In vain, the politicians and the nations attempt to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Known in the Bible as Judea and Samaria, but referred to as the West Bank, or even the nation of Palestine, (though no such country has never existed in history), the plan seems to be that by the creation of an Arab state there will at last be peace in the region. The belief must be that terrorism will cease and that the Arabs and the Islamic world will finally be able to accept Israel as a neighbor in the region. The Bible, however, presents a much different scenario for the end times.
What motivates the President to sign on to a plan to divide the land of Israel and Jerusalem? He is supposed to be a Born-again Christian, right? He should understand Biblical prophecy shouldn't he? One Israeli journalist called Bush "a born-again Methodist." He described the President as being an Evangelical Christian that believes in "Replacement Theology," the teaching that Israel has been replaced by the Church as God's people. And with this mindset he can not fully see the importance of taking Scripture literally in regard to God's prophetic future for the nation of Israel. Even some liberals and conservatives in Israel today have no regard for what their Scriptures say regarding Jerusalem,
"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill" (Psalms 137:5).I personally would not like to be the one who proposes dividing Jerusalem -- it is against God's Word to do so!
Zechariah's words are clear. God will return to Jerusalem and destroy the enemies of Israel, establish His earthly Kingdom and receive worship by His people.
"And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem" (Zechariah 14:9).
"I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like a bitter weeping over a firstborn" (Zechariah 14:10).
These events of course have never yet happened in history. So, some Christians believe that this prophecy cannot refer to future, literal events. What they do here is they spiritualize the promises to say they are being fulfilled in Christ's Church today. To them, the Church is the "new Israel," and Christians have replaced the Jewish people in God's program. Replacement Theology teaches that Israel, through disobedience and unbelief, has forfeited any future in God's promises and that the Church inherits the promises in a spiritual form. However, it teaches, the Church does not inherit the judgments, that they say belongs to Israel.
Theologians can write off Israel but God has promised never to do so!
"Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day, And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: "If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the Lord, "Then the offspring of Israel also shall cease From being a nation before Me forever." Thus says the Lord, "If the heavens above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done," declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 31:35-37).
"O Jacob My servant, do not fear," declares the Lord, "For I am with you. For I shall make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, Yet I shall not make a full end of you; But I shall correct you properly And by no means leave you unpunished" (Jeremiah 46:28).Rather than abandoning Israel and replacing it with the Church, as much of Christendom teaches, God makes a new covenant with Israel, the nation turns to the Lord and is converted.
"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
When asked by the disciples
"Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel" (Acts 1:6),Jesus never denied a future for Israel. He instead replied by saying,
"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power" (Acts 1:7).Israel's future restoration, prophesied in the Old Testament, will one day occur. And it may be sooner than we think. The passion for controlling Jerusalem will soon ignite the most horrific war of all times, called Armageddon. The prophets tell us that the only one who will be able to stop this war is Jesus the Messiah. The first thing He does when He returns is to liberate Jerusalem for His dwelling place with mankind. Are you ready for Him? Maranatha
Written by Alan Torres