God's Chosen People: Preserved
March 29, 2012
By: John Barnett
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As we open to Jeremiah 30-31 we are looking at the 12 keys God has given us in His Word to identify the nation among nations that will signal the end of days. Those people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, His Chosen People of Promise:
These keys are only part of the evidence, as we shall see, that the prophesied "last days" are upon us and that our generation will likely see the remainder of Bible prophecy fulfilled.
There are so many more specific prophetic passages to be fulfilled in the last days; based on the prophecies, which have already come true, we must conclude that these too will literally unfold in the not-too-distant future.
Thus God has declared that the most appalling time of utter destruction both for Jews and for the entire population of the world lies yet ahead. To speak in Biblical terms God says watch out, "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7) spells danger and misery for the entire planet.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY SPECIFICALLY?
Look with me at this incredible summary of all specifics God has revealed about His Chosen People of Destiny, the Jews.
Now, feel the impact of God's Words to a man standing out in the sands of the Middle East, in a Land called Canaan. God spoke in Genesis 15 and said, I am giving this Land to your children forever as a testimony to all the World, that I AM GOD!
This may be one of the most important studies we have ever undertaken, so feel free to trace these points and verses in your Bibles as we go along!
1. God stakes His reputation on people He identified as His chosen people of destiny, the Jews, the descendents of Abraham, and He named them Israel. Deuteronomy 7:6-7 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
2. God promised to give a land to His chosen people of destiny the Jews with clearly defined boundaries (Genesis 12:1; 13:15; 15:7, 18-21) to Abraham. Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” He renewed that promise to Abraham's son Isaac (Genesis 26:3-5), to his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28:13), and to their descendants after them forever (Leviticus 25:46; Joshua 14:9; etc.).
3. God promised to bring His chosen people of destiny to the Promised Land. Exodus 6:7-8 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.
4. God promised to judge His chosen people of destiny if they forgot Him in the Promised Land. 2 Chronicles 7:20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.
5. God promised to scatter His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny from the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 28:64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.
6. God promised a curse upon His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny as they wandered the world without their Promised Land. Deuteronomy 28:37 You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you.
7. God promised to chasten His unfaithful but chosen people of destiny. My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations (Hosea 9:17).
8. God promised to preserve His chosen people of destiny from annihilation. Today God has promised that in spite of all the rants and threats of all the Moslems and any other group that rears it anti-Jewish head, Israel will never cease to exist. God’s Name is on the line for His chosen people of promised called Israel.
Please follow along as we read four verses in Jeremiah 30-31.
Jeremiah 30:11 "I am with you and will save you," declares the LORD. "Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished."
Jeremiah 31:35-37 "This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the Sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: 36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the LORD, “will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.” 37 This is what the LORD says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,” declares the LORD. "
8. God promised to preserve His chosen people of destiny from annihilation.
God declared that in spite of such persecution and the periodic wholesale slaughter of Jews, He would not let His chosen people be destroyed, but would preserve them as an identifiable ethnic, national group (Jeremiah 30:11; 31:35-37).
“The Jews had every reason to intermarry, to change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution. Why preserve their bloodline when they had no land of their own, when most of them didn't take the Bible literally, and when racial identification imposed only the cruelest disadvantages?
Shamefully, many who claimed to be Christians and thus followers of Christ, who was Himself a Jew, were in the forefront of Jewish persecution and slaughter. After the emperor, Constantine, supposedly became a Christian, it was those who called themselves Christians who were far more cruel to the Jews than pagans had ever been.
The Roman Catholic popes were the first to develop anti-Semitism to a science.
Hitler, who remained a Catholic to the end, would claim that he was only following the example of both Catholics and Lutherans in finishing what the Church had begun. Anti-Semitism was a part of his Catholicism from which Martin Luther was never freed.
Absorption by those among whom they found themselves would have seemed inevitable, so that little trace of the Jews as a distinct people should have remained today. After all, these despised exiles have been scattered to every corner of the world for 2500 years since the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.
Could "tradition" be that strong without real faith in God? Against all odds, the Jews remained an identifiable people after all those centuries. That fact is an astonishing phenomenon without parallel in history and absolutely unique to the Jews”.
Of course, the endurance and survival of the Jews are part of something bigger, much bigger. It is what I like to describe as:
The Conflict of The Ages
Please open to Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17.
1 "Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. 13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
In these short verses we see the infernal strategy of Satan to devour, destroy, and defeat God’s plan and His people. It is only one verse of a Bible full of pictures of Satan the Destroyer of God’s people of Promise, The Jews!
1. When Satan heard the promise of “the seed of the woman” in Genesis 3 he immediately tried to ruin God's Word by having Cain kill Abel.
2. Seth was later born and started the godly line of promise so Satan’s infernal plan was to try to inbreed demons with the godly line and totally corrupt the line of Messiah, so God saved the last pure family and drowned everyone else.
3. Satan followed the line and lured Abram into moon god worship (the same moon god as Islam worships today) and thought he won, but God called Abram and he obeyed God.
4. Then Satan’s infernal strategy was to get Abram impatient and thereby to get the line defiled by Hagar the Egyptian, but God picked the son of promise as the second born (like Seth, Jacob, and so on).
5. Then the famine drove Israel to Egypt where Satan tried to kill the male children as they were born, to destroy the nation, so God killed every 1st born and led His people out in triumph.
6. Then the successive waves of: Canaanites, Philistines, Arameans, Assyrians, Ethiopians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans all came and tried to do Satan’s infernal bidding.
7. After the Dispersion no people group has ever experienced the horrors of pogroms, extermination attempts, and outright oppression like God’s People the Jews.
8. Then Hitler arrived and came within a couple of years of wiping out over half of all the Jews and their homeland!
9. But today we see the even more deadly scenario. The world is slowly lining up behind the notion that the Nation of Israel has no right to exist as a distinct entity. In the recent speeches of Arab leaders we see a growing drumbeat of hatred and a desire for the extinction of God’s Chosen People of Promise.
• Syria: Following close on the late Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's antisemitic comments to Pope John Paul II in Damascus, Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas asserted a few years ago that killing Jews is a duty for Arabs. "We live a tradition of martyrdom," Tlas said in an interview on Lebanese TV. "When I see a Jew before me, I kill him. If every Arab did this, it would be the end of the Jews."
• IRAQ: Interestingly, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein made a similar appeal to Christian anti-Semitism in an anti-Israel speech Christmas Eve of 2000, in Baghdad. "Principles of Islam and the teachings of Jesus Christ make it imperative on us to take the road that satisfies God and our conscience... that is the road of jihad. Without jihad we will not realize what we are hoping for in achieving peace and justice and saving humanity from the evils of the criminals, the murderers."
• Palestinians: Thus at the Fatah General Assembly in Bethlehem in August, the largest Palestinian faction declared that Jerusalem is "the eternal capital of Palestine, the Arab world and the Islamic and Christian worlds." The Capital of the Arab world? Capital of Islam? The Arabs and Muslims had centuries to make Jerusalem their capital, but never did. It was always considered a ‘backwater’ provincial town when in Arab or Muslim hands, as evidenced by the fact that only one Muslim ruler visited Jerusalem during the two decades it was in Jordanian hands from 1948 through 1967. The city has truly been the capital of only one nation – the Jewish commonwealth – based on an historical, spiritual and cultural attachment that dates back 3,000 years. Sure, it served as the capital of a short-lived Crusader kingdom, but no matter what Fatah says, there are no Christians seriously clamoring to revive that claim today – at least not yet .
• Iran: Iranian Daily: The Palestinians Must Not Accept Anything Less Than Israel’s Annihilation by sheikyermami on August 30, 2009.
Where we may be headed is to easier to see if we back up and look at recent history and what are historically know in Israel as:
THE FOUR WARS
To view modern world events in a biblical perspective, we have to take off the glasses provided to us by secular journalists and historians, and put on our biblical glasses that see the movements of the nations from the microscopic vantage point of Israel.
Modern Israel has fought four major wars during the last fifty years, and each one has played an important role in setting the stage for the prophesied events of the Tribulation:
1. 1947-48 War of Independence: restoration of Israel
2. 1956 Suez Canal: assertion of national sovereignty
3. 1967 Six-Day War: recapture of the Temple Mount
4. 1973 Yom Kippur War: solidified West Bank occupation
5. 1993-onward Intifada War: the right to exist!
Through all these wars, which were relatively minor in comparison with the World Wars but major for Israel's survival, the Satanic strategy was to destroy Israel through the Arab armies, mostly armed by the Soviet Bloc. But God protected His Chosen Nation through the sacrificial dedication of the Jewish people, and the support of the United States and a handful of other nations.
If we do not recognize this titanic supernatural background behind the observable struggle, we are not looking at recent history from a biblical viewpoint. The four wars each played a significant role in the great struggle between the Lord and Satan over the preservation of Israel.
WHAT MAY BE NEXT
What may be next? A quick review of historic facts and well known truth may be a great foundation.
1. First remember the fundamental truth of Islam is that it has superceded both Judaism and Christianity. That is why there are Mosques built over the Temple site (Dome of the Rock) and the Birthplace of the Church (El Aqsa).
2. Second, the Koran declares that any land ever possessed by Islam is eternally theirs and may never be returned or even one inch given up (that is why the Moslems call the Birth of Israel Naqba or Catastrophe).
3. Finally, the Koran says that no Moslem will ever be ruled over by a Jew (thus the tension over Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, Judea and Samaria).
So what may be next? One possible scenario is when we take a prophetic look at Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Jeremiah 49. The quick view is this: many Bible teachers have seen these passages as describing what appears to be a regional war for Jerusalem, maybe even while the entire Arab world mourns Naqba (Catastrophe Day 51548) and the rebirth of Israel.
So the survival of Israel scattered all around the world for 2,600 years leads us to the next point in the roadmap God left for us in His Word:
9. God promised to re-gather His chosen people of destiny back to the Promised Land.
The Bible declares that God determined to keep His chosen people separated to Himself (Exodus 33:16; Leviticus 20:26) because He would bring them back into their land in the last days (Jeremiah 30:10, 31:8-12; Ezekiel 36:24, 35-38) prior to the Messiah's second coming. That prophecy and promise, so long awaited, was fulfilled in the rebirth of Israel in her Promised Land. It happened at last in 1948, nearly 1900 years after the final Diaspora at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Roman armies of Titus. This restoration of a nation after 25 centuries is utterly astonishing, a phenomenon without parallel in the history of any other peoples and inexplicable by any natural means, much less by chance.
God declared Israel, His Nation, would Survive : We have already noted what is probably the most important of these end-time prophecies, namely, the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in its ancient homeland. It is almost impossible that a nation could survive as a distinct nationality, regain its homeland and be recognized as a viable nation once more after being completely destroyed as an organized entity by an invading army (as Israel was by the Romans, in A.D. 70). Its people were either slaughtered or scattered from one end of the world to the other; its land occupied and ruled by aliens for over 1900 years. Israel's survival is amazing, but even more so is the fact its survival was predicted many centuries earlier. When Israel, including Judah, first went into captivity, in 588 B.C., the period known as "the times of the Gentiles" began. Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome were successive world empires and their domain included the land of Israel.
After Rome destroyed the city and the temple in A.D. 70 (as predicted by Christ Himself in Luke 19:41-44 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”), the people of Israel were scattered "among all people, from the one end of the earth unto the other" (Deuteronomy 28:64).
God declared Israel, His nation, would be Regathered: Even more impossible than the fact that a people could retain its identity without a homeland for two thousand years is the fact that they should then return and establish their ancient nation once again. Yet this is exactly what the Bible had predicted.
Exodus 33:16 "How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
Leviticus 20:26 "You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. "
Isaiah 11:11-12 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time [note, the second time -- the first was when He brought them back from the Babylonian captivity] to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, . . . and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth"
Jeremiah 30:10 "So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel," declares the LORD. "I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid."
Jeremiah 31:8-12 "See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd. 11 For the LORD will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. "
Ezekiel 36:24, 35-38 ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ 37 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep, 38 as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
Ezekiel 37:21 "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land"
The "wandering Jews" were without a national home for "many days" (Hosea 3:4, 5) and it seemed impossible that such prophecies as these could ever be fulfilled. Even many Bible-believing Christians thought for centuries that God was through with Israel and that all the Old Testament promises to Israel should be spiritualized and applied to the church. But now, with the return of the Jews and the re-establishment of their nation, it is evident in a unique way that God's Word means exactly what it says.