Bright Future For Israel: America, Not So!

Charles Dickens began his novel The Tale of Two Cities with these words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

obama-bestIf you are an evangelical Christian living in the United States, you probably share my sentiment that these are not the best of times. Our president is on the verge of betraying Israel if he has not already done so. “Erasing Israel off the map is not negotiable,” said Iranian paramilitary leader Mohammad Reza Naqdi in a March 31 meeting between the Iranians, the U.S. and five other nations. The shock and awe of it all is that the U.S. delegation was not offended and continued negotiations with a terrorist State whose primary mission is to annihilate Israel and Christianity and then subjugate everyone else, making the globe the world of Islam. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was livid, and translated Obama’s conciliatory attitude with Iran as betrayal. I wish there was a way to make Netanyahu an American citizen so he could be our President. The highly intelligent Israeli Prime Minister made a moving speech before our Congress on March 3. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado said, “I was in the room and it was a speech for the ages.” Obama disagreed, matter of fact, he did not want Netanyahu to speak before Congress. According to Fox News, Obama loathes Netanyahu. Notice the expression on Biden’s face. He does not look happy.

a ben netanyhu

I am neither a prophet or the son of a prophet but in reading God’s word through several times, I am of the firm conviction that a betrayal of Israel is suicide for America. I am not a Zionist; I interpret everything though the lens of the Gospels and the words of Jesus. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” The is emphatic, meaning Jesus is the only way to the Father for Jew or Gentile. I firmly believe that the Jewish people scattered around the world, are going to mysteriously turn to Christ. You should check out Jewish Rabbi Jonathan Cahn on YouTube. In Zechariah 8:22-23 we find these prophetic words, Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing. “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world will clutch at the sleeve of one Jew. And they will say, ‘Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” I am a Gentile and we have been given 2,000 years to carry out the Great Commission but we have failed. Being a Southern Baptist, for years I thought perhaps the IMB working with other Mission Organizations was the answer to getting the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth but now I see another way and I am excited. I think God will use the Jews to fulfill the Great Commission. Give it some thought: [1] They are scattered all over the world. They do not have to be sent by a mission board, they are in place as I write. [2] They make better evangelist than Gentiles. They are more persuasive, more determined and if you check out Jonathan Cahn, you will see a boldness that we Gentiles lack. I would not be shocked to hear just any day that Jews all over the world are turning to Christ. Make no mistake about it: Christ is the answer, not Baptist, not the U.S. and not Israel. Where I differ greatly from Zionist is the emphasis on Christ. It is only when the Jews become believers in Jesus that God will use them to evangelize the world. Of course we are going to work along side them.

Zionist believe that Judaism will be revived, that the Temple will be rebuilt, that animal sacrifices will be carried out just as in the Old Testament. The New Testament makes it crystal clear that Jesus is greater than Judaism. Judaism is the shadow whereas Jesus is the substance. Jesus fulfilled Judaism. He taught clearly that Christianity was not an extension of Judaism but a totally new covenant.  In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”  

With Christ death on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn into from TOP to BOTTOM. This marked the death of Judaism. Everyone should get thoroughly acquainted with Hebrews chapter 10…

The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,

“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
    But you have given me a body to offer.
You were not pleased with burnt offerings
    or other offerings for sin.
Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
    as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect.

I understand why the Jews have trouble letting go of Judaism, even Paul struggled with this issue. He got arrested while fulfilling and OT vow that had nothing to do with the new covenant. Why would we want to see a revival of Judaism? I think it is a misinterpretation of God’s purpose and of scripture.

If you will read the Old Testament prophet and look for certain things as you read, you will see that every prophet, major or minor, speaks about the dispersion and also the ingathering or the return to the land of Israel. Even Moses prophecies the dispersion and the ingathering.

 “In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. {Deut 30}

Even the Psalmist said in Psalm 44… You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land. You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among the nations.

  • Isaiah 11:12–He will raise a flag among the nations and assemble the exiles of Israel. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth.
  • Jeremiahs 31:10– “Listen to this message from the LORD, you nations of the world; proclaim it in distant coastlands: The LORD, who scattered his people, will gather them and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock.”
  • Ezekiel 11:17—I the Sovereign LORD, will gather you back from the Nations where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel once again.
  • Daniel 9:7“Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.”
  • Amos 9:17—And the people of Israel will certainly become captives in exile, far from their homeland.
  • Zephaniah 3:20– “At that time I will bring you in, even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” Says the Lord.
  • Zechariah 10:9– Though I have scattered them like seeds among the nations, they will still remember me in distant lands. They and their children will survive and return again to Israel.Not only do the prophets predict the dispersion and the restoration: they predict that Israel will triumph over all their foes.
  •  Micah 5:9—The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out.
  • Micah 2:12-13– “Someday, O Israel, I will gather you; I will gather the remnant who are left. I will bring you together again like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture. Yes, your land will again be filled with noisy crowds! Your leader will break out and lead you out of exile, out through the gates of the enemy cities, back to your own land. Your king will lead you; the Lord himself will guide you.”
  • Amos 9:15– I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.
  • Hosea 14:4-7– The Lord says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever. I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon. Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees, as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.  My people will again live under my shade. They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.
  • Jeremiah 33:6-9– “Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace.  I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns. I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion. Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them. One of the most amazing prophecies in the bible is found in Deuteronomy 28. I share just a portion but there much more in the chapter. Deuteronomy 28:63-67– “Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy. 64 For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! 65 There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. 66 Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were night!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ For you will be terrified by the awful horrors you see around you.  
  1. Take you from the land
  2. Scatter you among the nations
  3. You will find no rest [peace]
  4. Live in constant fear and dread
  5. Your soul will despair
  6. Eyesight will fail [insight]
  7. Insecure and unsure of survival
  8. Terrified by the awful horrors you see

adolf-hitlerBefore I get into the prophecy: I want to tell you a story. Several years ago a Messianic Jew visited with us here in Danville. I carried him to supper and took advantage of the opportunity to ask him some things that had been bothering me. Why are the Jews liberal? Why do they support the democratic party and abortion? Why do not trust the religious right? He said, “It’s simple. Most Jews are not believers in Jesus Christ and they do not understand Christians. They associated evangelical Christianity and the religious right to Hilter. They are convinced that Hitler was a part of the religious right, a fanatic who hated Jews under the guise of Christianity. I said, “Why don’t they get the facts? Hitler was a Satan worshipper and had a Narcissistic Personality Disorder [worshipped himself].  The religious right is pro-Israel and the democratic party is weak in its support of Israel. He said, “I know what you say is true but you can’t convince them.” Obama may convince them. It is true that Jews in American are very liberal and most are agnostic but that can change and I believe it will. I am not saying that the Jews are going to all get saved and thus save America. I do think that the fall of America could open their eyes and I do believe that eventually their eyes will be opened. How do I reconcile this theory with free-will? I don’t try, I’m basing my thoughts on what I see spoken in the word of God over and over. My Jewish friend from New York confirmed the prophecy of Moses… There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. 66 Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive.

There are other things that amaze me about this prophecy. Moses made these predictions long before Israel became a Nation, or at least long before they had a king and a government. It would be some 500 years later before Saul was anointed king of Israel. The first great dispersion starting taking place in 734 BC when the Assyrians began displacing the Northern 10 tribes. This means Moses prediction came 7-8 hundred years before it actually happened. Tiglath-pileser III deported a group from 734-732. A second dispersion took place under Shalmaneser V [729-724] and a third under Sargon II moved the Israelites further east to Babylon and beyond. I have a chart that will give you some idea.The is 605 Nebuchadnezzar invades the South and take captives {Daniel and friends}, then in 586 [due to the Jews rebelling] Nebuchadnezzar totally destroys Jerusalem and the Temple and they deport almost the entire population. They did leave a remnant of caretakers and Jeremiah the prophet stayed with them. This situation did not last long, some of Jews rebelled against the government that Nebuchadnezzar had installed, they assassinated the Governor and then a large portion of the remaining Jews fled to Egypt and South of Egypt.

assyrian captivity

Being defeated by foreign foes was only one of the many ways that Israel got scattered. Some of wealthy Jews fled to the West when they saw the hand writing on the wall. Others were shipped abroad as slaves. Slavery was big business even in the time of Christ. We tend to think that the gospel stayed in Jerusalem until the death of Stephen and James; the Jewish persecution of Jewish Christians did scatter many believers but actually, the Gospel went into many parts of the world after Pentecost when the Jews from all over the world returned home. Paul did not carry the gospel to Rome: it was already there when he arrived. The Jews continued to migrate both toward the East and West. Eventually, they would be in Western Europe and both America’s. To the East the migrated all the way to Russia. This means, they have the globe covered. There are Jews everywhere which is a good thing, I believe. God is going to make this work for our good and His glory.

Everything on Moses list has been fulfilled so what makes you think the prophecies about an ingathering are not going to be fulfilled, especially since my generation has witness the beginning of the restoration of Israel which began in 1948.  Some jumped to the conclusion that the end was near and it is the human tendency to do so but I believe it marked the beginning. Sometimes God has to put a thorn in our nest to get us to move. There are millions of Jews in America, perfectly content now but Obama may be the thorn in the nest. Jews are still migrating back to Israel, 26,500 last year. The restoration began in 1948 with 3 million Jews from 90 countries. It will continue until there are more Jews in Israel than you can count. There population will increase and their land mass will grow. Eventually, they will occupy land on the East side of Jordan.

I know it is dangerous for me to prophecy but based on the evidence of scripture, I believe the number of Jews migrating back to Israel will continue to grow. Israel had only two allies, the U.S. and Great Britain and both of those seem to be caving, however I don’t think it matters. The Jews are going to triumph over all their foes. I am praying that we don’t become a foe. Woe to the foe! Iran is not going to annihilate Israel; they may try but they will not succeed. If we betray Israel, we can stop singing God Bless America. So my firm conviction is that Israel will continue to grow in number and strength and that God will supernaturally aid them in their defense. The words of all the prophets will be fulfilled and not one prophet mentioned the annihilation of Israel. 

This article has not been edited. They are probably many typo’s.


The Breaking Point

There is an interesting story in I Kings about Solomon’s son Rehoboam.

Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king.  The leaders of Israel summoned Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.

Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away. Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”

The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. “What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”

The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”

Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered but  Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors  and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

 So the king paid no attention to the people

When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,

“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O Israel!
    Look out for your own house, O David!”

So the people of Israel returned home.

Mr. Webster gives us three meanings for the term “Breaking Point”:  [1] The point at which a person gives way under stress, [2] The point at which a situation becomes critical and [3] The point at which something loses force or validity. All three are applicable to this text. Solomon had pushed the Israelites right up to the brink of rebellion. His massive building programs had been expensive and had created a huge tax burden for the common man. While Solomon lived in a luxurious palace and dined on caviar and fine wine, the Israelites were struggling to make ends meet. Solomon walked on floors and side walks overlaid with gold, the common people were walking on dirt. His extravagance might have impressed the Queen of Sheba but it had lost its luster with the Israelites; they were feed up.

Rehoboam was no spring chicken; he was 41 years old and I am sure that his father saw to it that the boy had the best education that money could buy but for some reason the boy was dumb. His first decision as king was a colossal blunder, one that his grandfather David would have prayed about but not Rehoboam. Not only did he not pray, he also rejected some very good counsel from men who had worked with his father and were aware of the state of the country. They understood that the wood was dry and the least spark would ignite a massive rebellion. Nevertheless, Rehoboam spurns their counsel and listened instead to a bunch of dump punks who did not know their back side from a hole in the ground. Rehoboam spoked harshly to the people and they didn’t like it. His rudeness and his harsh words was the match that ignited the rebellion. In an instant, the damage was done and it was irreparable. All the kings horses and all the kings men could not put the kingdom together again.

There are times when it is good for us to reach a breaking point. Nicodemus reached that point when he saw his peers celebrate the brutal execution of Jesus. Something in this proud Jew snapped and the man who came to Jesus by night to keep his peers from finding out suddenly becomes a man of courage who doesn’t care what the Jews or anyone else thinks. He is going to help Joseph take Jesus down from the cross in broad open daylight and he dares someone not to like it. Nicodemus had reached his breaking point.

For Nicodemus, reaching the breaking point to where he did not care what others thought was a good thing. I have noticed that young people are especially prone to live in fear of what others think, especially young women. I do think youth is a factor but I also think gender is a factor. Most women worry about what others think; most men don’t give a rip. Women get torn up about things that are funny to men. You do need to reach that point where you do not live in fear of what people think. It is a bondage that you need to be freed from. There is only one good fear and that is “Fear of God” and all the rest or terrorist. They will torment you day and night.

I started this article as a blog and then realized quickly that I could not say all I wanted to say on the subject in my daily blog. I see several truths in this story that are worthy of comment.

  1. People, anyone male or female, can be pushed only so far…everyone has a breaking point. Husbands and wives need to keep this in mind. A man came into my office many years ago and said, “Preacher, my wife told me at least a dozen times that she was going to leave me if I did not change my ways…she’s gone and she says “She aint coming back.” Guess what? She did not come back: he pushed her to her breaking point. He was a good provider and gave her a healthy allowance to run the house. She drove good cars and had no worries about money. She left it all simply because she reached a breaking point. In other words, Mona Lisa lost her smile.
  2. Never attempt to manipulate, control or force those who seem weaker than yourself to do what
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    you want them to do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a brilliant man. As I read and muse over his works, I am awed. I do praise God for giving men that kind of intelligence. I have been listening on audio to Life Together which is a collection of his lectures on the church and I am amazed at his insight. Bonhoeffer says that it is the tendency of the natural man to judge another man immediately, to size him up so to speak, to look for his weakness. To strategize and seek a position of strength so that we might use this person to accomplish our purposes. Dallas Willard, the late professor of Philosophy at USC said something similar, “Growing up is largely a matter of learning to hide our spirit [true self] behind our face, eyes and language so that we can evade and manage others to achieve what we want and avoid what we fear.” [Divine Conspiracy, page 76] Bonhoeffer in Life Together points out this natural tendency to control others by referring to Luke 9:46… “Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.” Bonhoeffer gives the devil credit for planting the seed of discord in the minds of brethren [disciples] and we would be wise to give it some thought. If he put it in their mind, will he not do the same to us? Despising another or looking down on someone who you feel is inferior is a base and ignoble sin that is prevalent among us and is a sin that God convicts me of often. I guess there is a bit of a tyrant in all of us and we would take advantage of the weak if not for the grace of God.

  3. Weak or strong, you can only push a man so far. Vicktor Frankl, Austrian born Jew who was a
    Viktor Frankl

    Viktor Frankl

    neurologist and psychiatrist. He was a survivor of the holocaust [two different death camps] and is most noted for his book, Man’s Search For Meaning. Vicktor Frankl discovered by his own experience that “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” He was one of the few that survived not one but two death camps. In this horrible environment, he saw men, weak and strong snap. He saw them reach a breaking point. The German guards were brutal, they were to be feared but Frankl noted that once a man reached that breaking point, the guards held no power over them. He said, “I saw one man after another give up. They simply refused to get out of bed. I saw the guards beat them with the butts of their rifles but they just lay there and they laid there for days until finally they died.”  This lead Frankl to the conclusion that has changed modern psychiatry and counseling, man cannot survive without hope, he must have a purpose for living. If you destroy a man’s hope, you will destroy the man himself. We must resist the temptation to control others. We must not ride a person until they reach a point of despair.

  4. The fourth and final thing that I wish to say about the subject is that you must learn to protect yourself from being manipulated or controlled by others or their opinions.  People marvel that I have not made a commitment to my eschatological views. People ask me if I am Pre, Post, or Historical Pre-Trib and I tell them, “I don’t know what I am other than a believer in Jesus.” I have my own theology and I am not the least bit intimidated by those who disagree. I think everyone has a right to be wrong. Bro. Inman use to say, “I am not Pre or Post, I am Pan, I believe it will all pan out.” Let me give you some advice, let the bible be your chief source for your theological views. Some of the things people are trying to persuade you to believe is Western and wishful thinking. I dare you to talk to the Eastern world about an age of persecution. They don’t know anything other than persecution. Don’t let anyone do your thinking. Do not be a dupe. Parrots get on my nerves. Think for yourself, speak for yourself, and don’t allow another human to control you, dupe you or break you to the point of despair. One of the first things a young pastor has to learn if he is to survive is that you cannot listen to all the criticism. You have to listen to some but there is a point where you close your ears. Let me share a couple of insights that have helped me.
  • Study and discern the spirit of the criticism. Constructive criticism will come from people who love you. They are actually trying to help you when they point out certain weaknesses. The tendency is to resent all criticism but this is a mistake. We all need constructive criticism. If the critic is malicious, do not listen. Their purpose is to hurt and destroy and if you allow it, they will destroy you. The devil wants to discourage you and he will used others to accomplish his goal. It is a subtle trap, don’t get caught in it. One of the things that did impress the Jewish religious leaders about Jesus was He didn’t care what people thought about Him…“Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. [Luke 20:21] Before you take any criticism to heart, determine its origin: is it coming from Satan to hurt or is it coming from God to help?
  • Do not over-estimate your strength: you can be broken, everyone can be broken. Jeremiah
    Jeremiah Denton

    Jeremiah Denton

    Denton was a POW in Viet Nam wrote a book about his experience as a POW, it is titled When Hell Was In Session [There is also a movie]. Denton was a Navy pilot who was shot down behind enemy lines. He was a tough guy and was determined not to be broken but he discovered that daily torture will break even the strongest. Acknowledge your weakness, your limitations; don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are invincible because you are not. REMEMBER this truth: God wants to break your will but not your spirit. The devil is attempting the opposite, he wants to strengthen your will and break your spirit.

CONCLUSION

Breaking points can be good or bad; it all depends. For Nicodemus, it was a good thing for the men in the concentration camps it was not good. Nicodemus breaking point lead him to a new freedom from fear and gave him the ability to serve Christ openly. For the POW’s in the death camps, their breaking point lead to total despair and the loss of all hope. You can see the difference, one is good and to be desired while the other is bad and must be avoided.