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The War Over Israel's Land

I have given this sermon before but the nations containing Israelites are always in the news.

June 5, 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of Israel's victory of the Six-Day War against Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria. Six days is not very long for a war against seven strong countries who vowed to destroy Israel, but we can get a better perspective of the impact of that victory when we remember that the strongest air force, the Egyptian Air Force, lost their entire air force on the ground to the three to one outnumbered Israeli Air Force in the first 45 minutes of the war.

The war was initiated not only by bellicose threats by these seven countries and other Arabs, but by the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran in the Red Sea which cut off Israel's maritime link to the south and east and the Egyptian dismissal of UN "peacekeeping" troops on the Egyptian/Israeli border. Ten days before Israel's attack, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser stated, "Our basic objective will be to destroy Israel." The Arab countries had readied 400,000 troops, 2000 tanks, and 800 aircraft.

Israel's victory resulted in the retaking of Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria (the so-called "west bank;") which Jordan conquered in Israel's war of independence. It also included the taking of the Golan Heights from which the Syrians had been able to fire at Jewish towns on Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), and taking the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt.

The war was certainly a miracle but is the 40th anniversary significant? Was there anything in prophesy which would support Israel's ability to defeat all these nations?

Let's consider the 40th anniversary first. Forty is a scriptural number for probation, times of change, or trial and testing. There are many scriptural examples of this but let's consider two of the better known examples. One is the forty year delay the Israelites had to endure in the wilderness before they could enter God's promised land. They had to wait forty years until the rebellious older generation died out before God would motivate the younger generation to obediently accept circumcision and other teachings by Moses, and thereafter enter the Holy Land God had promised to the patriarchs and their descendants.

The other well-recognized 40-year period of trial and testing or probation occurred between the crucifixion of Christ in 30 AD and the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. During this time, the non-Christian Jews were given a chance to repent of their false charges against Christ which led to His crucifixion. They did not repent and, right on time, forty years later, the Romans expelled the Jews and destroyed the Temple.

Does the past forty years since the Jewish miraculous victories of 1967 have significance.? I believe it does but only time will tell how and toward whom God will respond. Perhaps the prophetic scriptures we'll cover in the rest of this sermon will show us some of the possibilities we should look for. Ezekiel 35, for instance, states that because God is with Israel and is angry with Edom and other Islamic countries over their hatred of the Jews, that Israel would survive in its long battle with the so-called Palestinians.

Today, as President Obama sides with Muslims, I want to talk to you about the ownership of the land of Israel today, the on-going return of the Jews to Israel, and the prophesied return of the lost ten tribes to Israel.

Our main scripture will be Ezekiel 36. It was written 125 years after the ten tribes were taken captive by Assyria, and while the Jews, including Ezekiel, were captives in Babylon. It is written to all the tribes of Israel including both the Jews and the lost ten tribes. It is definitely a prophesy for those of us living in the end times. I want to walk you through the verses, discussing each major point. Let's start with verse 1.

Ezek 36 (NKJV) "And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, 'O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD!

So here we have God talking through Ezekiel about the mountains of Israel. As I have said before, some say this is addressing a government. My impression is that He is talking about the real mountains running north and south through Israel. These mountains constitute almost all of the so-called West Bank of today. The Israelis call the northern part of the West Bank, Samaria, the southern part, Judea, the original home of the Jews.

{2} 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because the enemy has said of you, 'Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,' " ' {3} "therefore prophesy, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because they made <you> desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers [in other words, negotiated away] and slandered by the people"; {4} 'therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD!

Breaking in in the middle of the verse, let's analyze what God is saying here: "The ancient heights have become our possession." These ancient heights were originally assigned to the Jews because they were the Jews' ancestral homeland. They were then conquered by Jordan in Israel's 1948 war of independence and held by Jordan until Israel recovered them in the 1967 war, nineteen years later - also a chronologically significant time.

In verse 3 we read, "They made you desolate." Jordan evicted the Jews and destroyed the Jew's homes, schools, synagogues, businesses, and facilities, taking for themselves whatever they wanted. Continuing in verse 4:

...Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around; {5} 'therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy <and> spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country." '

"You became the possession of the rest of the nations." This term or its equivalent is used three times in this chapter, in verses 3, 4 and 5. What does it mean? Could it mean the United Nations? Since May 20, 2011, with Pres. Obama siding with Muslims against Israel, do these verses speak of a group of nations who will band together against Israel and take Israel's land. In the book of Psalms, David also describes this situation: [Please hold your place in Ezekiel 36 and turn to Psalms 83.]

Psa 83:3-8, 12 (NKJV) They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. {4} They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from <being> a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more." {5} For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: {6} The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; {7} Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; {8} Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. Selah..... {12} Who said, "Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession."

Who were these people? Six or seven of these peoples (Edom, Ishmaelites, Amalek, Moab, Ammon, Lot and perhaps Hagrites) are among the Arabic ancestors. The other peoples mentioned lived in what are now Arab Islamic nations or areas. Assyria was in Iraq. Tyre and possibly Gebal were in Lebanon. The Philistines were from Philistia or what is today called Gaza. These peoples were all around the mountains of Israel.

Compare the following statement from Egypt with what we just read in Psalms: "I announce from here, on behalf of the United Arab Republic people, that this time we will exterminate Israel."

Or the following statement from Saddam Hussein's Iraq: "Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map." Or from Islamic (but not Arab) Iran: "We will destroy Israel."

Back to Ezekiel 36:

{6} "Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations." {7} 'Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that <are> around you shall bear their own shame."

Yes, the small modern country of Israel has defeated and humiliated all the nations which surround it. Its war of independence was a perfect example.

Notice in verse 7 that God is making a vow - taking an oath. In verses 8 through 36, notice how many times God says, "I will" do this or that. God is making promises to Israel to accomplish many things.

{8} "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. {9} "For indeed I <am> for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. {10} "I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. {11} "I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better <for you> than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I <am> the LORD.

The huge exodus of Jews to Israel has been coming now for quite a few years. Instead of the wasteland that the Arabs created, Israel is now turning more and more wasteland into farming. Today what had been dry, rocky hills and valleys have become orchards and wheat fields and truck crops and olive groves and vineyards.

But do the Israelis give total credit to God? No, not all, but many do. Most Israelis take on a prideful attitude about their accomplishments. This is wrong but God's purpose and plan is not detoured by man's vanity.

{12} "Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them <of children>."

Bereave means to abort or miscarry. The Israeli government has agreed to put the cities in Samaria and Judea under the control of the Palestinian Authority, previously known as the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization or "PLO". But God says His people Israel shall inherit these hills.

{13} 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because they say to you, 'You devour men and bereave your nation <of children>,' {14} "therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore," says the Lord GOD. {15} "Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore," [as they have done many times when they brought in secular and certain religious parties] says the Lord GOD.' " {16} Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying: {17} "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. {18} "Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols <with which> they had defiled it. {19} "So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. {20} "When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name; when they said of them, 'These <are> the people of the LORD, <and> yet they have gone out of His land.'

So let's get the picture: Israelis had sinned and God expelled them out of Israel and into foreign nations. Particularly in the case of the Jews but actually in the case of all Israelis, the foreign nations said to themselves, "Here we have God's people but they can no longer live in the land God gave to them." What an embarrassment. But God did not then give their land to someone else. No, He held it for them until He would allow them to return. But at the same time, He allowed the neighboring Arabs to destroy the land of all productivity and beauty.

{21} "But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. {22} "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do <this> for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. {23} "And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I <am> the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

So here was God telling the Israelis that He was not terribly concerned over what happened to them but that He was concerned over what they were doing to His Holy Name. The same name, His Name, people continue to profane by carelessly expressing it today. How can the Israelites today feel that they are some kind of special people when God slights them like that? God is saying here that His first concern is His holy name. His second concern is for His mountains and lastly, I guess, for the Israelis. As Isa 54:5 and Jer 31:32 state, God married Israel but Israel is being a disloyal wife to her Husband.

{24} "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

We see that happening today. Is this verse talking about our time or some future time? Some have said this is talking about the events at Christ's second coming. If this verse is talking about some future event, what is God's purpose for these millions of Jews coming from all over the world to Israel? And what of the millions of Jews and other Israelites in the United States and other parts of the world? Are they also to return to Israel? If so, why? Are they all going to die in some future conflagration? What would be God's purpose in allowing or doing that?

Notice all the "I will"s in the following vows by God. Continuing with verse 25:

{25} "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. {26} "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. {27} "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do <them>. {28} "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. {29} "I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. {30} "And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. {31} "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that <were> not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. {32} "Not for your sake do I do <this>," says the Lord GOD, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!" {33} 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable <you> to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. {34} "The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. {35} "So they will say, 'This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities <are now> fortified <and> inhabited.' {36} "Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places <and> planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken <it>, and I will do <it>." {37} 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. {38} "Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I <am> the LORD."

Verses 25 through 38 cannot be describing anything other than the millennial period after Christ returns. "I will sprinkle clean water on you" can be nothing other than washing away their sins in baptism. In verse 27, "I will put a new spirit in you" must surely be the Holy Spirit which will be given to all men when He establishes His new covenant with all mankind. Jeremiah spoke of this event:

Jer 31:31-34 (KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day <that> I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this <shall be> the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The lack of any other event being described between verses 24 and 25 of Ezekiel 36 may suggest that there will be another exodus to Israel just prior to the time Christ returns. That theory lends itself well to the theory that most of Israel is still out in the world; that the Jews are not the only tribe of Israel. A world-wide economic depression or threat to security might expedite that exodus. Verse 34 proves the new covenant isn't here yet.

Another explanation for the seeming gap between verses 24 and 25 is that Christ's return will occur very soon after the Jews have completed their exodus to Israel. But this explanation would seem to ignore other end-time prophesies. Let's review a few of them:

Joel 3:1-3 (KJV) For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, {2} I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and <for> my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. {3} And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

We can see this situation beginning to take shape today. The United Nations and many independent nations are putting pressure on Israel to give away its God-given land in exchange for more promises of peace with the so-called Palestinians. At the same time, the so-called Palestinians are still clamoring for half of Jerusalem, and many nations, thinking that this would create peace, are supporting them. The goal of all who follow the Qur'an is not half the land. It is all the land. Every concession by the Israelis strategically weakens the Israelis and strengthens the so-called Palestinians. It is not hard to imagine how Judah and Jerusalem can again be conquered as predicted in Joel 3:1.

Zec 14:1-3 (KJV) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. {2} For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. {3} Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

It appears that when the world's nations capture half of Jerusalem, probably intending to give it to the Muslims, the Eternal shall make war with the nations to prevent this from happening.

Luke 21:20, 22 (KJV) And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh........{22} For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Hosea 3:4-5 (KJV) For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and <without> teraphim: {5} Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and [a resurrected] David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days. [Fear to disobey, stand in awe, respect]

Verse 4 may very well describe the country of Israel today. Verse 5 seems to answer our question as to when the select people of the lost ten tribes will return but, will these days occur before or after Christ's return? Zech 14:3, which we just read, seems to say that they will return at or about the same time Christ returns.

Acts 2:17 (KJV) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Again, before Christ's return or after?

I think one of the best scriptures to tie this all together and give us a picture of the progression of these last day events, particularly of the Lord's final battle, is Joel 2. Let's read this prophesy of God's Army of chosen individuals:

Joel 2 (KJV) Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for <it is> nigh at hand; {2} A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, <even> to the years of many generations. {3} A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land <is> as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. {4} The appearance of them <is> as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. {5} Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. {6} Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. {7} They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: {8} Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and <when> they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. {9} They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. {10} The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: {11} And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp <is> very great: for <he is> strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD <is> great and very terrible; and who can abide it? {12} Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye <even> to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: {13} And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he <is> gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. {14} Who knoweth <if> he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; <even> a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? {15} Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: {16} Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. {17} Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where <is> their God? {18} Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. {19} Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: {20} But I will remove far off from you the northern <army>, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, [sounds like Israel invading Syria at the Golan Heights] and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. {21} Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. {22} Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. {23} Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first <month> (Abib). {24} And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. {25} And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. {26} And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. {27} And ye shall know that I <am> in the midst of Israel, and <that> I <am> the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. {28} And it shall come to pass afterward, <that> I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: {29} And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. {30} And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. {31} The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. {32} And it shall come to pass, <that> whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

The first part of this prophesy is self explanatory. It is God's army at work destroying invaders from the north. Is this a supernatural army? Sounds like it. Notice in verse 28 that God will apparently pour out His spirit on all flesh after destroying the invaders. The events specified so clearly in the book of Revelation, especially chapter 6, shall come after the giving of His spirit to mankind. The last verse in the chapter states that the remnant, the survivors, will be those whom the LORD has called.

What are we seeing in the country called Israel today? Jews have been coming back to Israel by the millions. There have been so many professionals coming to Israel from Russia that they cannot find immediate jobs in their field. Former Russian engineers and scientists are working at all kinds of menial jobs while awaiting Israeli businesses to hire them. In this day of technological development, Israel gains tremendously from these people. They are products of a very good educational system and will compete very well. It is a gold mine for Israel.

But on the negative side: The Jews are giving away their country to their enemies. Trusting their enemy is a fatal characteristic of the tribe of Judah. They should have learned this during the holocaust. First it was Arab self-government in Jericho and Gaza. Then they tried moving their troops out of Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Hebron, Gaza, plus 450 villages. The Arabs have continually tried to solicit world pressure for control of Jerusalem. In and around these mostly Arab towns there are 120 Jewish settlements containing about 12,000 Jews. These are all in the hills, the mountains of Israel. They are people who believe in Israel and God's promise that the land is their's to use forever (Gen. 13:15). When the Israeli troops are withdrawn, these settlers are shot at and often killed. Then Arafat allowed Hamas to finish the job and the Jew's faced suicide bombers. The patriotic, pro-family Jews are slaughtered. Do not expect Arafat's replacement, Abbas and the warlike Hamas party, to alter their goal of the removal of Israel and the murder of all Jews and Christians.

The 1967 Six Day War convinced the Arabs that they would not be able to destroy Israel militarily within its post-1967 boundaries. Thus they embarked upon a new three-stage strategy for Israel's destruction, embodied in the PLO's 1974 decision commonly known as the Phased Plan. The Plan in brief was:

  1. Through the "armed struggle" (i.e. terrorism), to establish an "independent combatant national authority" over any territory that is "liberated" from Israeli rule. (Article 2)
  2. To continue the struggle against Israel, using the territory of the national authority as a base of operations. (Article 4)
  3. To provoke an all-out war in which Israel's Arab neighbors destroy Israel entirely ("liberate all Palestinian territory"). (Article 8)

Today, the Phased Plan remains relevant. Speaking just after the 1993 revelation of the Israel-PLO accord, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat announced that the historic agreement "will be a basis for an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the Palestine National Council resolution issued in 1974. ... The PNC resolution issued in 1974 calls for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws or which is liberated." (Radio Monte Carlo, 1 September 1993)

Don't forget that it was Arafat speaking at a mosque in South Africa immediately after the first Washington agreement who compared that agreement with that made by Mohammed many centuries ago. Mohammed also signed a peace agreement with the Koreish tribe, which was stronger than he. But, when the tribe was no longer stronger, Mohammed massacred them all. The Palestinian Authority and other Muslim groups will have no qualms about following Mohammed's example if given a chance, no matter what they have promised regarding peace. The Koran permits, even encourages lying to promote Islam. Suriah 16:106.

What do we know about the Hamas faction of the Palestinian Authority which is now in a rulership position in Gaza? Did they ever strive after peace? Let me read you the Hamas Manifesto.

The ten fundamental principles of faith of Hamas are as follows:

  1. Hamas swears to conduct a holy war over Palestine against the Jews until Allah's victory is achieved.
  2. The land must be cleansed of the filth and evil of the tyrannical conquerors.
  3. Under the wings of Islam it is possible to have peaceful coexistence with other religious groups. But without Islamic rule over the Dome of the Rock, there can only be hatred, controversy, corruption and repression.
  4. By command of the Prophet, Muslims must fight the Jews and kill them wherever they are.
  5. Hamas strives to set up an entity wherein Allah is the highest purpose, the Koran is its law, jihad (holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty) is its means, and dying for the sake of Allah is the noblest wish.
  6. Palestine is a holy Islamic entity until the end of time. Therefor, it is non-negotiable and no one can give up any part of it.
  7. It is a personal, religious commandment for every Muslim to engage in the jihad (holy war) until the land is redeemed.
  8. Hamas opposes any kind of international talks or negotiations as well as any possible peace arrangement. Sovereignty over the land is strictly a religious matter and conducting negotiation over it means giving up some measure of control by (Islam's) believers.
  9. The Jews control the media and the world financial institutions. By means of revolution and war, and organizations such as the Masons, Communists, capitalists, Zionists, Rotary, Lions, B'nai B'rith, and the like, they undermine human society as a whole in order to destroy it. By their evil corruption they try to gain domination of the world by such institutions as the United Nations and its Security Council. More details of their iniquity can be found in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  10. Hamas opposes any secular state the PLO would seek to create in Palestine, since by definition it would be anti-Islamic. On the other hand, if the PLO would adopt Islam and follow its flag, then all of (the PLO's) members would become freedom fighters who would light the fire to consume the enemy.

Hamas stated it would accept the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as well as a long-term truce with Israel if Israel would agree to suspend attacks against targets in Palestine. This appears to be another example of Mohammed's peace agreement with the Koreish tribe. It also provides another base for future terror operations. We just discussed both. But, it makes the so-called Palestinians look good in the world press and thereby curries favor with the nations of the world.

Do you think the statement in South Africa was a careless statement which Arafat really didn't mean? Let me give you a few more of his statements:

At a University of Al Azhar gathering in Cairo, Arafat said, "We are going through a critical and decisive stage in which we are commanded to exert every effort and sweat and our potential in order to reach our ultimate goal: Jerusalem." He called for the Palestinian flag "to fly over the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques and its churches. All of us shall pray in Jerusalem whether anyone likes it or not."

Arafat is dead now but his hate-filled policies are deeply ingrained in the minds of Palestinians, both adults and children. Because Islam demands conquest of all lands, there is little hope for peace. Have we forgotten that only Muslims can now pray on the temple mount? Have we forgotten that the Jordanians destroyed Jewish synagogues in the west bank and prevented Jews from accessing even the western wall of the temple mount?

In Gaza, Arafat said, "Bless your struggle and your Jihad on this land... We are all on the way to dying a hero's death on the way to Jerusalem, capital of the State of Palestine and no other state."

Also, in a speech read for him by the Palestinian Authority's minister of justice, Freith Abu Middein, Arafat said, "I say once more that Israel shall remain the principal enemy of the Palestinian people, not only now but also in the future."

The truth about Arafat's intentions was not found in the soothing words he spoke in English for Western media consumption. It is found in what he said in Arabic to his own people. Arafat didn't want peace. He wanted all of the land of Israel and so do his successors.

Israel has continually attacked the infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority, but what will happen if they destroy their own settlements as they have done and may do again? Will Israel be able to continue to retaliate? Probably, but they are going to have a huge price to pay for their trust of these, their ancient enemies. And now, almost all the world is openly favoring the so-called Palestinians over the Jews. Is this the time for the fulfillment of the prophesies of Daniel 11:40-45? Let's read this prophesy of what seems to many to be the final resurrection of the Roman Empire, perhaps controlled or strongly influenced by Islam.

(Dan 11:40-45 NKJV) "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. {41} "He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. [These are all people from what is now called Jordan] {42} "He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. {43} "He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. {44} "But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. {45} "And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

The prediction of many ships causes me to wonder which countries the king of the North includes. The US has the world's largest navy at this time. My guess is that the Jews will be on the verge of extinction, without hope, when God steps in and saves them. Perhaps God is moving Jews from around the world to Israel in order that the threat of total extinction will be real. What of the Jews in America? They may move to Israel if the American economy or security fails. The U.S. Senate's decision to not develop off shore oil fields may very well add to the failure of both. Why would this happen to America? For its manifest sins and its involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian controversy.

Zec 12:3 (KJV) And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Will threats against Israel or by Israel cause this confrontation by all nations? Will this result in the armies surrounding Jerusalem? - Actually they are in the valley of Kidron. Will God step in with His armies, as we just read in Joel 2, to prove to the Jews that they cannot give away His land as they have done to the so-called Palestinians and to prove that Christ is their Lord too?

Even with the insistence of a Republican Congress, the U.S. State Department hesitated to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem as the accepted capital of Israel. So far our Federal government has buckled under to Arab pressure and kept its embassy in Tel Aviv. Let's all pray that this country will finally take the correct course for the benefit of both countries. But in addition, let's always pray that lasting peace will soon come to that great city which has been too long without it, too long a burden on the world.

But since the September 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Centers, the US government is differentiating between Islam and terrorist Islam. Is there a difference? Perhaps you saw the Islamic religious leader (I think his name was Siddiqi) in the Washington Cathedral ecumenical service and in a White House conference of Muslim leaders. President Bush and his people, in order to enlist Muslim nation support in his war against ben Laden and his organization, erroneously emphasized how the Koran preaches love, not hate. It was even suggested that Sudan be taken off the State Department's list of terrorist nations because they condemned the September 11th attack. But does the Koran preach love? How many Muslims love Israelis? The Koran includes the following words: "A rock says, 'O believer, there is a Jew behind me! Come and kill him.'" Is this love? The Islamic religious leader I just mentioned has publically supported the terrorist organizations I just read. So does a man named Alamoudi who is President of the American Muslim Council. In fact he has ties to Hamas and publically expresses support for them. I hate to say so but I'm afraid the past and current U.S. President are deceived. The Qur'an proves Islam worships a god of war. That is not to say that every Moslem supports extremist Islam's hatred against the U.S. But we see State Department pressure on Israel to stop Israeli construction in Jerusalem and retaliating for the Palestinian murder of Israeli citizens. All this to gather Muslim nation support in a US-led coalition and to protect the world's oil supply. All this to convince Muslim nations that we accept them and their perceived religion of love in our war against terrorist Islamic groups.

Neither the US administration nor many political and military leaders in Israel seem to recognize that we are not at war against the so-called Palestinians or Iraq or Iran or Syria or Afghanistan but we are at war against Islamic extremists. It is a worldwide war without state boundaries where thousands are training hundreds of thousands, even children, and whose primary targets are Christian America and the Jewish State of Israel. We cannot negotiate our way out of this war because our enemy is committed to the ultimate victory of Islam and to our destruction. Our only possibility of success in this war lies in military and economic victories brought about by the partiality of our Creator God. It is time for all peoples, especially Americans and Israelis, to study the Blessings and Curses chapter of Deuteronomy 28 and Psa 33:10-22 and live by its message. I would also recommend studying the Koran in order to learn of its evil teachings.

(Psa 33:10-22 NKJV) The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. {11} The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. {12} Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. {13} The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. {14} From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; {15} He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. {16} No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. {17} A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. {18} Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him [those who respect and fear to disobey Him], On those who hope in His mercy, {19} To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. {20} Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. {21} For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. {22} Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope [trust] in You.

We read Zech 12:3 in the KJV, but let's read more of Zech 12, this time from the NKJV:

Zec 12:2-11 (NKJV) "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. {3} "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

The words of verse 3 vary considerably from translation to translation. Here is the word by word translation of verse 3 directly from the Hebrew:

And it will be in day that I will make Jerusalem a stone heavy for all the peoples; all who lift it severely will be lacerated, and will be gathered against all the nations of the earth.

Continuing with Zech 12:

verse {4} "In that day," says the LORD, "I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah (the Jews), and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. {5} "And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem <are> my strength in the LORD of hosts, their God.' {6} "In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place; Jerusalem. {7} "The LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. {8} "In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David <shall be> like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. {9} "It shall be in that day <that> I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. {10} "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for <his> only <son>, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. {11} "In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

Notice that these verses describe Judah alone. The Jews are greatly determined to retain Jerusalem. We hear supporting statements from Jewish leaders like PM Netanyahu even today.

Are the tumultuous events we see on the horizon for the Jews in the land of Israel going to be the opportunity for them to turn to God and accept Jesus Christ and thereby receive God's Holy Spirit? Verse 10 seems to say so. Israelites are the natural branches to the root of Abraham. Others have only been grafted into it. Let's read what Paul says about this in Romans 11:

Rom 11:1 (NKJV) I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, <of> the tribe of Benjamin.

In conclusion, here is another item for your permanent prayer list. Let's turn to Psalms:

Psa 122:6 (NKJV) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you."

Speaking to Abram, God promises:

(Gen 12:3 NKJV) I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Two days after President Obama told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he wanted Israel to go back to its pre-1967 borders, thereby making Israel indefensible against its Muslim neighbors, huge tornados and floods completely destroyed cities in the U.S.

Question: Are huge, city-destroying tornados and floods a curse?

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell
16 June 2012
Copyright 2012, Wayne Bedwell

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