Recently, it seems to be the fashion among pastors to dismiss, or cancel, if you like, the Old Testament. One has told his congregation to “ditch it,” saying we don’t need it anymore because Jesus Messiah did away with what went before. This modern generation doesn’t seem to like anything old at all, and there seems to be a danger now of this new crop of young ones doing away with the Bible completely. They say, “Who needs to listen to a book that hasn’t had anything new in it for 2,000 years.” (We old ones just shake our heads.)
The thing is, until all Bible Prophecy is fulfilled, God’s Plan is still rolling out, whether the younger generation believes it or not. In fact, if you haven’t noticed, current world events appear to be taking us along the very path outlined in Jesus’ sermon on the Mount of Olives, in Revelation, and the superb prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the other smaller prophetic books of the Old Testament. Jesus told us not to be dull but to discern the times; to watch for the signs of His Second Coming. We may not know the day or the hour, but He told us to watch for the signs, and when we saw them, we would know that He is near, even at the door (Mathew 24:33).
The Israel/Hamas war is now almost into its sixth week, with no end in sight at this writing. One of the least surprising effects of this war was the almost instant blame placed upon Israel by the world community. For a very brief period following October 7th, while the videos of Hamas’ atrocities were still being played internationally, the world appeared to be taking Israel’s part. Some of us tried to guess just how long it would be until the world began to pour the cup of wrath on Israel instead. Well, it wasn’t even a week later that news outlets across the globe were spouting hate on Israel.
Almost immediately, misinformation, misquotes, and downright muck raking began against Israel in the world media, trying to discredit the tiny nation for defending itself. And then it seemed that overnight antisemitism raised its ugly, bestial head once more.
A surprising source (to me) of antisemitism comes from several Christian denominations. The idea for this article began with a recent discussion among Christian women about the war and Israel’s place in history. One in the group happened to believe in Replacement Theology. When challenged by the rest of us, there came the usual arguments about Christ’s church experiencing a great revival in the end times and bringing God’s Kingdom to earth as a result. These arguments are easy to refute, using God’s Word to substantiate His love for Israel and the need for a physical Israel to be in place at the end of days in order to fulfill Bible Prophecy. God does not change His mind once He makes a covenant. His covenant with Abraham about the nation of Israel stands forever.
Those who no longer hold the Old Testament in reverence do not (perhaps cannot) see God’s Eternal Plan of salvation for His people unfolding in it, culminating with the birth of Jesus and the New Testament. Many mainline churches in Canada and the U.S. now teach that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s Covenant. One reason for the error is likely that the Old Testament is never studied.
To those who support and believe in Replacement Theology (R.T.) I ask, “Do you pray the LORD’s Prayer daily?” If so, please realize you are asking the LORD God for His Will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Even a much-revived church doesn’t have the authority to bring heaven to earth. Only the Triune God, in His Will, will accomplish this. And His Word tells us exactly how it will happen, if we would but humble ourselves to actually read and study “that dusty old book.”
Another terrible fallout from the war was the localized protests by pro-Palestinians, which broke out simultaneously in almost every European country and in Central, South, and North America. Violent clashes erupted when pro-Palestinian protesters encountered Jewish groups gathered to show solidarity with their homeland. There have been instances of pro-Palestinians attacking Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, and schools. Some are saying they haven’t seen this amount of hate for the Jews since 1938 in Nazi Germany. But now, it is spread way beyond just one country and is seen around the world.
Prime Minister Netanyahu was a soldier in the IDF many years ago. Born in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu knows Israel and her enemies like the back of his hand. While the U.S. pushes once more for a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem, the Prime Minister sees that appeasement, land for peace, has not worked in the past, nor is it likely to work in the future. Israelis want peace, but not at the expense of losing their nation once again.
Bibi, as Netanyahu is affectionately known in Israel, is not perfect. He is a man, like any other, with the usual number of flaws and blemishes. He is a politician, not above striving for votes. Yet, when compared to most other politicians on the planet today, Netanyahu is above average in courage, in wisdom, in decision-making, and in calling things as they are, not as some wish they were. Israelis either love him to bits or hate him – there is no in-between.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu has one mission in life, and that is to keep Israel alive, to keep the surrounding Arab nations from wiping the name of Israel off the map. He sees himself as having been put in place by God at the right place, at the right time. Bibi takes his job seriously as a mandate, not only from the people of Israel but from the LORD God also.
It was God Almighty, Himself, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Who ordained that the land that became known as Israel would be the land of His chosen people, the Hebrews, whom He rescued, via Moses, out of bitter bondage in Egypt.
Leviticus 20:22-24: “‘Keep all My decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, ‘You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, Who has set you apart from the nations.”
The LORD God set the Hebrews apart to be the lineage from which Jesus the Christ, Yeshua HaMaschiach, would be born. He chose His people, the ones who would bear Him on earth. They had to be sanctified; that is, they had to be made holy; they had to adhere to a higher standard than the rest of the nations around them in order for the Messiah to come into the world through them. So, the LORD God made a covenant with Abraham that would last for all time. The LORD would be Israel’s God, and Israel would be God’s people.
As long as Israel obeyed the LORD, kept His commandments, and worshiped Him alone, Israel was blessed beyond compare. But when she did evil in the sight of the LORD, no other nation felt His wrath so keenly. And this has been a pattern in Israel’s history from the time of the Patriarchs to the present day.
About 40 years after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, Rome destroyed the city of Jerusalem and pulled down the temple so that not one stone was left upon another. Rome also laid waste to the province of Judea, which they called Palestine. From that time until the late 19th Century, the land known as Palestine or the Holy Land was a desert, a wasteland pretty much. But the Jews began to return to their homeland over the next few decades and fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 35:1-2: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom, it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy! The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendour of our God.”
In 1917, the British declared their preference for a Jewish Homeland in the Holy Land of Palestine. The Zionist movement in the U.S. and Britain took the Declaration as a bona fide trust. But later, under another government, Britain rescinded the Balfour Declaration, and the Jewish State did not come into being. Had Britain not rescinded the Declaration, millions of Jews from Europe could have had a homeland to emigrate to, and those millions would have been saved from the Nazi ovens. Later, after the war, the idea was invoked once more, and the modern Jewish State of Israel was born on the 14th of May, 1948, fulfilling the prophetic words of Isaiah 66:8: “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her children.”
Even though the nation of Israel was the conduit through which the Messiah was to come, and even though the prophecies are so clear (e.g., Isaiah 52), the majority of Jews today do not believe that Jesus Christ is their Messiah. In fact, many Jews are quick to call themselves secular, Jewish only in lineage and not at all in any religious sense. On the other end of that spectrum is the ultra-Orthodox community, the Haredim, who are ardently committed to Talmudic Judaism. In the middle are the religious Jews who attend synagogue, study the Torah and the Talmud, keep the Sabbaths and festivals, and raise their children to know the Scriptures and their history.
And then there is a growing number of Jews who have decided to read ‘the rest of the story’ and who are coming to know Jesus Christ by the hundreds. While it is imperative to its continued existence to keep Israel Jewish, these Messianic Jews pose no threat to that imperative, for they are Jewish through and through. The only thing that makes them different from their neighbors is that they have found the Way to Jesus, just as their ancestors did two thousand years ago in first-century Judea. They are Jews who are reborn in the blood of the Lamb.
Far from replacing Israel, Christ’s Church has been grafted onto the vine of Israel, according to Romans 11:11-31.
As the end times approach, as the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy speeds up, many of us read into the current war a possible fulfillment of Psalm 83 and possibly Ezekiel 38, which prophesies a great battle between Israel and her enemies at what the LORD God calls “a future time.”
In Psalm 83, the psalmist Asaph says to the LORD, “See how Your enemies growl, how Your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against Your people; they plot against those You cherish. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.'”
Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, and other Islamic terrorists say this almost daily in the news: “Death to Israel.” Little has changed in 3,000 years in this part of the world. Tiny Israel has always been problematic for those nations who do not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
But the LORD said, “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged, as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves” (Zechariah 12:2-3).
This prophecy was partially fulfilled, in no small way, in 1967. For six days, Israel fought her surrounding enemies, including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. From that war, she gained Gaza from Egypt – NOT from the Palestinians! Also, she took the West Bank and the whole city of Jerusalem from Jordan after Jordan had tried to take Jerusalem for itself. The West Bank was NOT taken from the Palestinians! And Israel acquired the Golan Heights from Syria.
But Zechariah 12:2-3 remains to be completely fulfilled. For the LORD says all the surrounding nations will be defeated and will know that the LORD is God. Zechariah 12:9: “On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.”
Meanwhile, the current Israel/Hamas war is now a month and a quarter old. While some say it is the Psalm 83 war come to pass, others dispute that and see it only as another regional skirmish between ideologies, which is also pretty much the world-view at this point. That may change rapidly, for several political pundits are downright worried that things are heating up and fear that this war is but the opening salvo of World War III.
If it is the war described in Psalm 83, it could well be the catalyst that brings about world conflagration. And world conflagration, at this time, has every chance of opening the door for the Rapture of the Believing Church and then the ushering in of the Man of Lawlessness, the antichrist, and the 7-year Tribulation.
Ezekiel tells us that there will be a war unlike any other war in history, and it will unleash a series of irreversible events that will change the world forever. The LORD has set aside two whole chapters in the Bible to warn Mankind of this coming war, Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Through Ezekiel, the LORD tells us that Iran (Persia), with Russia (Magog), and a coalition of allies (including Turkey, Libya, and Sudan) will go to war and will invade Israel. This will take place sometime after Israel has been re-gathered into Her land as a nation. So this war could not have happened before the 14th of May, 1948, the day modern Israel was born.
The Bible warns that Israel must stand alone, with no help from any allied nation. Ezekiel says she must stand with the LORD God alone. For when this coming war does begin, former allies will either be unable or unwilling to help. Well, we have certainly seen how the world has turned away already from supporting Israel.
Even though the Bible warns the invading armies will be ultimately destroyed by God, it will be a devastating war for both Israel and the whole world. It will be especially devastating to economies, given the Rapture will happen around the same time.
We might be forgiven for not wanting to watch this terrible prophecy unfold before our eyes in today’s news. But we cannot ignore it, my friends. There has never been a time in history when the LORD’s Second Coming has been so close. We need to be ready for what, or indeed Who is coming. We need to be ready for Jesus. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus tells us we need to be sure we are truly His for, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.”
Jesus adds in Revelation 3:14-16 that lukewarm Christians will be spit out of His mouth. To overcome being lukewarm, Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me” (Revelation 3:19-20).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, warned of wars and rumours of wars in the last days. The present war in Israel may well be the last one before Jesus comes for His bride!
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus and the disciples keep encouraging us to stand strong and firm in our faith and to pray ceaselessly. Psalm 122, verses 6 to 8, tells us to: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem [in this way]. ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.'”
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
And what about the title of this article — Am Yisrael Chai? It is a slogan of solidarity with God’s people, meaning, “The People of Israel Live!” AMEN.
AMEN. AND AMEN!
If anyone reading this article has not yet received Jesus as their Saviour, but God has touched your heart by His Holy Word, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find a Bible-believing local church and ask the Pastor what you must do to be saved in Grace. In the meantime, please consider the ABCs of Salvation:
A – Admit
Admit what you have done wrong and ask forgiveness.
Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.”
I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
B – Believe
Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again as a payment for your sins.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
C – Confess and Choose
Confess and choose to allow God to be in charge of your life.
Matthew 16:24: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Romans 10:9: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:13: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
This article, based on God’s Holy Word, was written by the inspiration of God’s own Holy Spirit. All glory to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.