Question # 210….(01-21-04)Would you clarify the reason that the Jews are regarded as enemies of the gospel for our sakes, but beloved for the fathers’ sake regarding election as stated in the Bible?
Answer……The scripture that you are referring to is probably Romans 11:28. (Romans 11:26-28 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.) The Jewish people have become “enemies of the gospel” for the Gentiles’ sake, or perhaps a better word is benefit, because Israel’s opposition to the Messiahship of Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is what caused the gospel to go out to the Gentile peoples originally. Thus for the benefit of Gentile proselytism, the Jews became the natural enemies of the gospel. Had the Jews accepted the gospel and the Messiahship of Jesus, then it would not have been necessary for God to create the new entity called the Church. Had the Jews accepted Jesus as Messiah, they would have been charged with the “great commission”, but they stubbornly rejected the time of their visitation. But still, the Jews are “beloved for the fathers’ sake,” meaning that they have never lost their Covenantal standing, and therefore have neither lost the Abrahamic Covenant made to the “fathers.” (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) For that reason, in the future, there will be a national salvation of the remnant of Israel. I Thessalonians 2: 15-17 reveals that the Jews attempted to deny the spread of the gospel and for that reason have suffered from the wrath of God. Acts 15:12 conveys that God has providentially ordained the mission to take out from among the Gentiles a people for his name, which delineates the Church Age. The record of Acts indicates that the Gentiles would receive the gospel, all the while that Israel remained in darkness to its light. But Israel shall not forever forsaken by God because he has foreordained that he will return his loving-kindness to them. (see Isaiah 62) God is merely dealing with Israel as a wise and loving father would deal with a wayward child.
Question # 209….(01-15-04)According to the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land belongs to the Jews by divine right. But how do we know from Scripture whether the entire Promised Land rightfully belongs to the Jews today, or whether it will rightfully belong to the Jews only when the Lord gives it to them in the future?
Answer……….When the Lord entered into the covenant of the “Promised Land,” it was specifically stated that the possession was of the future tense, as the Bible clearly indicates that the land was for the Patriarchs seed. (Genesis 12:7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land:) However, in Genesis 15:13-16, God also specified that the timing of that future possession would be sometime after the sojourn into Egypt and return from Egypt. The Exodus and the time of the conquest under Joshua was when God actually gave a partial land conveyance unto Israel as a divine possession, though Israel still yet to this very day has never enjoyed all of the Divinely Promised Land. The perpetual possession of the land, unlike the promise of the land, was a conditional covenant. It required obedience to God’s laws and statutes, observance of the Sabbath, and abstaining from following after other gods. A distinction must be made, then, between the divine ownership of the Land by a divine title deed and an actual indwelling of the Land. Ownership was rendered unconditional on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant and reaffirmed by the Palestinian or Land Covenant; and this came fully into effect once the Jews entered the Land under Joshua. But the perpetual enjoyment of the Land was and still is based upon obedience, as stated in the Mosaic Covenant. For that reason, to this very day the Jews have never enjoyed all of the Promised Land, and even at the present time are being compelled upon by the powers that be in the world to engage in withdrawing from territories they've held since 1967. Israel’s continued blindness to the identity of their true Messiah continues to belie the reason for their troublous times in the land today. Indeed it is true that Israel will not enjoy all of the Land until they become a saved nation, at which point the Messiah himself will convey it to them. But the deed-ownership of the Promised Land is already a fact, at least in so far as God’s word is concerned. When the restored remnant of Israel finally discovers their true Messiah, (Jesus Christ) and laments in mourning over their rejection of him, then and only then will Israel come to know the full blessing of the Lord and his land Covenant.
I liken Israel’s present possession of a portion of the Promised Land to a driver with a suspended vehicle operator’s license. The car belongs to Israel, but they aren’t permitted to freely drive it without God’s permission until they demonstrate a responsibility for obeying the traffic laws.
Question # 208….(01-14-04) Where did the name “Palestine” come from? I see that it is even used in the Bible.
Answer….The name Palestine refers to a region of the eastern Mediterranean coast from the sea to the Jordan valley and from the southern Negev desert to the Galilee Lake region in the north. The word itself derives from "Plesheth", a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as "Philistine". The Philistines were a seafaring people from Greece and Asia Minor that conquered and settled the coastal area of Israel prior to the patriarchal era. The Bible in some instances uses the political names of the times in referring to the land. While the Bible always panoramically referred to this land as the Promised Land, the State of Israel never existed until the 11th century BC. So the former existing political names come and go with the ever-changing winds of power. Over a thousand years after the Philistine conquests, around AD 135, after putting down the Bar Kochba revolt, or the second major Jewish revolt against Rome, the Emperor Hadrian wanted to blot out the name of the Roman "Provincia Judaea" and so renamed it "Provincia Syria Palaestina", which was the Latin version of the Greek name and the first use of the name as an administrative unit. The name "Provincia Syria Palaestina" was later shortened to Palaestina, from which the modern, anglicized "Palestine" is derived. So, the name "Falastin" that Arabs today use for "Palestine" is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Roman "Palaestina."
Question # 207….(01-12-04) What is the internationally recognized legal status of the city of Jerusalem? To whom does it rightfully belong?
Answer…….. Jerusalem is the legal capital of the State of Israel and has been since 1953, when the Israel Knesset claimed it as the official capitol. However, the issue of Jerusalem is clouded because of the metropolitan size and scope of the modern city versus the Old City. Western Jerusalem (pre-1967 borders) is the area of the city that actually houses the Israeli Knesset. Eastern Jerusalem engulfs the ancient Old City. Although the UN mandated in 1947 that Jerusalem be an international zone, the Arab nations surrounding Israel launched an offensive war against Israel seeking its destruction. The result of that war left Jerusalem a divided city in 1948 under Jordanian and Israeli control. However, after being attacked by Jordan in the 1967 Arab war, Israel captured the entire city of Jerusalem. Israel today considers Jerusalem a united city, but in political reality that is hardly the case. The city of Jerusalem has a unique and very special significance for the Jewish people since it served as the historic capital of the Jewish people when King David made it the capital in 1004 BC. Jerusalem remained the capital of Israel until its destruction at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD. The city of Jerusalem is the "heart and soul" of the Jewish people's spiritual identity and national yearnings. On every occasion that the Jews have been an independent people in the Land of Israel, Jerusalem has been their capital. Throughout the centuries, no other nation, other than the Jewish people, have made Jerusalem their capital. While important to Islam and Christianity, Jerusalem is at the very center of the Jewish religion. The UN and most states today do not respect Israel's sovereign right to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The reasons for this are essentially political, and are completely contrary to the principles of international law. Albeit, Israel has thus far not exercised its sovereign rights to the ancient Old City, (East Jerusalem) choosing instead to placate and compromise with the religious and political powers of the world out of fear. The UN resolved in 1949 to make the city of Jerusalem a “corpus separatum,” to be placed under the authority of a global geo-political-religious authority. Thus the world views the status of Jerusalem as being undecided, and as an issue that can only be conclusively resolved by a global religious and geo-political consensus. Thus most nations of the world, including the US refrain from placing their foreign embassies to Israel in Jerusalem. In reality, Israel is battling with the whole world over the final legal status of the city of Jerusalem. But in the end analysis, God himself has already decided the legal status of the Holy City, and the word of the Lord says that it belongs solely to him. What higher legal authority is there than God?
Question # 206….(01-08-04)Do you think that the Palestinian terrorism being waged against Israel is in anyway related to the present international terrorism and the war with evil that America is confronting?
Answer……..Yes I do. Whereas Israel has had to endure the horror of terrorism for over 50 years, America was spared the scourge of terrorism until only recently. Although terrorism has invaded many parts of the world, America only experienced it in foreign venues until the September 11th, 2001 event. The spectacular attacks that were perpetrated upon America on 9-11 symbolize another Pearl Harbor type awakening that sent shock-waves all around the world. It marked a moment in time in which the world was suddenly and dramatically forever changed. Why did it happen? What was the reason for the 9-11 attacks? The answer lies in the complex problems involving the Israeli-Arab Middle East Conflict and the Palestinian-Syrian tracks for completion of the Middle East Peace Process. America, as the chief sponsor of that peace process became perceived as being overly pro-Israel, and thus has become the target of all the Middle East terrorist organizations and the rogue States that sponsor or harbor them. The historic political successes of Yasser Arafat’s PLO terrorist machine has encouraged the further radicalization of Arab and Muslim populations throughout the Middle East. However, it is the radical nature of fundamentalist Islam that is the key that links the Palestinian terrorist arena and the overall world-wide terrorism being waged by the multi-lateral leviathan of terrorist organizations and their geo-political affiliations. Mixed together with this inflammatory genocide is also the failed socio-economic conditions within most of the Mid-east dictatorial states and the political-religious ideologies that encourage hatred and violence for Israel and the West. The Arab-Israeli conflict has been used by many in the Middle East to excuse their anti-American, and ultimately anti-Western, activities. Terrorism, whether we realize it or not has become third wheel in the competing global ideologies between democracy and dictatorship. Al-Qaeda's attacks on the U.S. were an assault on the ideals of freedom that the United States represents. Without question, the Middle East region is the logistical and geographical pivot point that holds the key to the balance of power in the world, and the extremist interpretation of Islam is seeking to destroy the existing balance of power that presently favors the US, which in turn provides a safety net for Israel.
Question # 205….(01-07-04) What is the actual international legal status of the so-called occupied territories that Israel is building settlements in? Is it illegal for Israel to have built these outposts that the Palestinians claim is infringing upon their land?
Answer……..Israel acquired control over the West Bank, or the so-called occupied territory in the 1967 war that it was forced to fight for its own self-defense. For that reason alone, Israel's claim to these disputed territories is no less valid than that of the Palestinians, or anybody else. Israel feels that it has a right to this land since it was won in a defensive war. Thus Israel began building settlements in the land soon after winning it. This settlement activity is often referred to as the dream of Greater Israel. These territories also constitute land that once formed the cradle of Jewish civilization from 1100BC to 600BC, and also later during the life of Christ. Modern-day Israel has deep ties to many historical sites located in the territories, yet Israel's claim to these territories is based not only on its ancient ties, religious beliefs and security needs; it is also firmly grounded in international law. It is important again to remember that Israel's control of the territories began as a result of a war fought for self-defense, and fought after Israel’s mere existence was threatened by its “legal perimeter” bordering Arab States. Israel’s so-called occupation of these territories has primarily continued due to the intransigence of Israel's Arab neighbors, who steadfastly reject Israel's many performance-based offers of peace. In 1979 Egypt and in 1994 Jordan finally signed peace treaties with Israel, and thus they obtained land concessions from Israel. It has been asserted that Israel's continued presence in the West Bank territories violates the UN Security Council Resolution 242 from 1967, one of the cornerstones of the ongoing peace process. However resolution 242 placed obligations on both sides, not just on Israel. While Israel has tried to live up to its obligations in the process, the Palestinian side has never lived up to a single promise. Furthermore, the PLO/PA was not the entity that was empowered in the West Bank in pre-1967. Israel's presence in the territories is often incorrectly referred to as an "occupation." However, under international law, occupation can only occur in territories that have been taken from a recognized sovereign state. Jordan ruled over the West Bank during the years 1948-1967. The 1967 attacks by Jordan, Egypt and Syria plainly violated international law under the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Plan). Palestinian leaders not only claim that the disputed territory is occupied, they also allege that that occupation is by international definition, illegal. However, international law does not prohibit situations of occupation. Rather, it attempts to regulate such situations with international agreements and conventions. Therefore, claims that the so-called Israeli "occupation" is illegal, without regard either to its cause or the factors that have led to its continuation, are baseless allegations without foundation in international law. Palestinian efforts to present Israel's presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the primary cause of the conflict simply ignore history and international law. Thus the reason that they resort to terrorism! Palestinian terrorism predates Israel's control of the territories. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964, three years before Israel's presence in the territories began. The final status of the “disputed territories” should only be determined through legal negotiations between the parties. In contrast, attempts to influence a legal solution by the Palestinians through terrorism is ethically, morally and legally indefensible.
Question # 204....(01-06-04)
Does God know the fate of everyone he created?
Does he know where each one of us will end up, whether it will be heaven or
Answer......... God knows everything! The Lord God is all-knowing. He is Omniscient, as well as being omnipresent and omnipotent. Omniscient is a theological term that refers to God's superior knowledge and wisdom, and his power to know all things. He has the capacity to view all the things that we here on earth view as being past present, or future events from a panoramic perspective in his dimension of eternity. God knows our thoughts from afar. He knew us before we were even formed in the womb of our own Mother. (Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Isaiah 49:5, Luke 1:15; 2:21) He is acquainted with all our ways, knowing our words even before they are on our tongues. (Psalms 139:1-6, 13-16) He needs to consult no one for knowledge or understanding. (Isaiah 40:13-14) As the all-knowing God, he alone is able to foretell the events of the future. Bible Prophecy is the record that the eternal all-knowing God has conveyed to us through his prophets for the express purpose of displaying before us the forecast for his providential plan of the ages, and of things yet to come! And of course only the all-knowing and all-powerful God can offer fallen man freedom from the sin, decay, and the death of this present world. (Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.) (Isaiah 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he.) (Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.) The Lord God knows our choices and decisions before we make them. He knows the fate and destiny of all of his creation. He has already conveyed to us that this present world shall be burned up and that the heavens will vanish. (Isaiah 51:6; II Peter3:7) All creation and all creatures were created for the Lord's good pleasure. Only by him do they continue to consist. (Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.) God's foreknowledge of human events does not eliminate the freewill decisions that each person must make in life. We are not predestined, or pre-programmed for a fate. A thorough understanding of how God can maintain His universal sovereignty and still allow for human freedom seems to be reserved for His infinite mind and wisdom alone. Although the term predestination is not used in the Bible, the apostle Paul alludes to it in Ephesians 1:11: "We have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." All Christians agree that creation is moving within the purpose of God. This purpose is to bring the world into complete conformity to His will. (Romans 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.) From the very beginning of time, God predestined to save All of mankind by foreordaining the mission to send His only begotten Son to accomplish salvation for anyone that freely chooses to accept it. Thus, "God would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Tim. 2:4-5) The doctrine of predestination does not mean that God is unjust, deciding that some people will be saved and that others will be lost. Mankind, because of Adam's Fall in the Garden of Eden, acquired the sin nature from Adam's free choice. Thus, no person deserves salvation. But God's grace is universal. His salvation is for everyone who expresses faith in his Son for their pardon from sin. Does God know who will and will not choose to accept that gift of salvation? Yes indeed, he knows everything. (Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?) (Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:)
Question # 203….(12-24-03) Hello. I wanted to inform you that the aforementioned verse (Luke 21:24) of the word of God "they" does not necessarily refer to the nation of Israel. More specifically, it refers to the ones that God will punish for their iniquities during the more than 2,000 year history of the international community of the world. "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Answer……..Well, first of all let me say that I appreciate your kind message and your patience as I responded, and I also appreciate your thorough evaluating of scripture. However, I will have to differ with you on this particular item. I honestly believe that the word “they” as utilized in this context is specifically intended for the Jewish people alone. The prophetic context in this historic paradigm is dealing foremost and firstly with Israel, (secondarily with the church-only insofar as persecution) and characterized by the following items:
1) deliver you up to synagogues, into prisons (Christians also later)
2) hated for His name’s sake (Jesus) (Israel is the woman who gave him birth)
3) Encirclement of Jerusalem (logistical-prophecy)
4) Desolation of Jerusalem and Temple Mount (fixed location)
5) Fleeing of Judea (location-desolation of Israel)
6) Wrath upon “this” people (particular word pointing to the Jews-1st century, Last Days)
7) Distress in the land ( 1st century via Rome and the Last Days-burdensome stone)
8) Jerusalem trodden down (Gentile period)
9) Taken away captive into all nations (Diaspora-no other people have endured this)
10) “They” (Israel) will see the Son of Man coming in clouds (Zechariah 12:10-12; Mark 13:26)
11) The Fig Tree is the symbolic term for the people referred to as “they” (Israel)
12) “They” will see the abomination of desolation take place (Antichrist seated in Holy place)
They (Israel) fell by the edge of the sword, and were led away captive into ALL nations!
They (Israel) lost the precious holy city of Jerusalem! No one else!
They (Israel) will be hounded by the Antichrist during the Time of Jacob’s trouble.
Only Jesus Christ, their Messiah can deliver Jerusalem from the Gentile domination!
The first century prophecy that Jesus conveyed to his Disciples while on the Mount of Olives was a prophetic paradigm first for the people of Israel and then secondarily to the birthing Bride, the Church. Christ’s followers down through the centuries have also experienced some of the trials that befell Israel, but only the nation of Israel is in view for all of these things. God will indeed punish the nations of this world for their iniquities and sins, (ongoing) but the climactic judgment event comes at the end of the terrible Day of the Lord, when “they,” Israel is saved and Jerusalem is restored!
Question # 202….(12-18-03) Do you really think that God actually cares whether or not we as individuals know anything about world events, whether it be past history or future things? What difference does it make?
Answer…….I think God is greatly pleased when he sees that his people are passionate about knowing more about all the things of God, in knowing more about his Word, and possess a zeal about spreading his Gospel, whether it be the spiritual messages or the prophetic message. In reality, God hates passivity, inaction, and indifference in his children. We are supposed to be the children of light, not of ignorance. If we choose to ignore any of the word of God, we may find ourselves falling into a drunken stupor with this evil and blinded world! (Revelation 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I (God) would thou wert cold or hot. (hot means passionate or zealous) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.) (1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.) (1 Thessalonians 5:5-7 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.)
Question # 201….(12-17-03) What is your general prophetic view of the capture of Saddam Hussein and the whole situation surrounding Iraq?
Answer…….The capture of Saddam Hussein could be a cause for a lot of distressful and anxious moments between many nations. Saddam began his career as a Pan Arab Marxist, and found a ready ally in the former Soviet Union, which was looking to displace the US (West) as the dominate power in the oil rich Middle East. (The Baath Party and Saddam were the tools that the Soviets used to overthrow the British appointed monarch for Iraq, King Faisal, a cousin to the late King Hussein of Jordan.) The Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the ensuing Iran-Iraq war caused a strategic shift in the geo-political balance of power throughout the region. The U.S. and Russia played opposite sides in a “Dual Containment” power struggle in the region. (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait) But the real thorny issue in the Middle East is the existence of Israel. The Arabs view Israel as an encroachment upon the Muslim Empire, and the world’s competing spheres of superpowers (US, EU, Russia, China, UN) play the regions “Israel Controversy” for influence among the many contestable Middle East players. (Arab League, OIS, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine Liberation Organization, and on and on the endless list goes) The rise of the irrational nature of Middle Eastern terrorism however is primary cause of the “distress of nations,” especially in light of the perplexing problem of weapons of mass destruction being obtained by rogue states and evil minded men. (Luke 21:25-26 And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.) The terrorists are waging Jihad primarily against the US and Israel. The September 11th terror attacks on America highlight the real and very worrisome concern about weapons of mass destruction. The WMD threat affects the entire global geo-political-economic-religious order. US and Israeli Intelligence officials think that the Iraqi WMD were relocated from Iraq either to the Syrian Desert known in the Al Jazirah province, which is geographically wedged between the Turkey-Iraq border, or into the Bekaa Valley region of Lebanon-Syria. Saddam could have confidential information about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s involvement in this matter, as well as the Iranian-Hezbullah-Al Qaeda WMD-terror strategy in South Lebanon, and elsewhere. The complex web of geo-political intrigue and terror in the Middle East involves virtually every major country in the world. The region, being so blessed with oil reserves casts a unique spell of economic/power enticements in some Biblically prophetic directions. (East-China, West-US, EU, North-Russia) President Bush has basically chosen to make Iraq the frontline in the American war-on-terror, and is hoping that the 2-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict will keep America strategically superior in the Middle East. While the Presidents vision of democracy in the Middle East may be a noble concept, I can tell you t from a practical and prophetic standpoint that it is wishful thinking and will not work. And from a prophetic standpoint, it would appear that the scenarios regarding the Burden of Damascus (Isaiah 17) and the “sacrifice by the river Euphrates” (Jeremiah 46:10) are already well on their historic paths towards an impending explosion, and sooner or later it will all blow up! (Burden of Babylon)