Tag Archives: Israel

There’s Only One Fix

Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. (2 Kings 23:26)

Unlike Israel, the ten tribes that composed the northern kingdom, Judah had a mixture of good and bad kings. The bad kings were those who led Judah into the practice of idolatry. King Manasseh[1] was arguably the worst king Judah ever had. Of him, Scripture records that “Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel” (2 Kings 21:9). He “worshipped all the hosts of heaven”[2] (astrology). He built altars to pagan gods in the Temple and to “all the host of heaven.”[3] “And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger” (2 Kings 21:6). So …

 

Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day. (2 Kings 21:11-15, emphasis mine)

         

Manasseh reigned for 55 years[4] and was succeeded by his son Amon.[5] Amon was 22 years old when he came to the throne and reigned for only two years. He was every bit as wicked as his father.[6] A coup arose against Amon, and his servants assassinated him and installed his eight-year-old son Josiah as king.

Josiah reigned for 31 years. Of him Scripture records, “And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him” (2 Kings 23:25, emphasis mine). Josiah undid all that his father and grandfather had done.[7] He destroyed all the altars to pagan gods and cleansed the Temple. He executed all the pagan priests and all those that practiced witchcraft. However, even with all the good Josiah did, God did not alter His plan to destroy Judah and Jerusalem. “Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there” (2 Kings 23:26-27, emphasis mine).

The kings that followed Josiah were all wicked and continued to plunge Judah into the sin of idolatry, which included the practice of child sacrifice. As a result, Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. Jerusalem and the Temple were razed and a remanent of the people was taken captive to Babylon for 70 years.

When I read the history of Israel in the Bible, I cannot help but see our nation, the United States of America, falling into the same pattern. Israel, as a nation, has one great advantage over the USA. Before Israel became a nation, the first time, God made an irrevocable and unconditional, promise to Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Genesis 13:14-15, emphasis mine). “Forever” has no limit. Scripture records that Israel has done nothing to warrant God’s favor and the only reason they hold a favored place comes only from God’s faithfulness in that He will not withdraw the promise that He made to Abraham. That should give those who trust in Him assurance that He will keep His promise to us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, emphasis mine).

I know of no place where God has made a similar promise to the USA. However, America, from the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock and the drafting of the Mayflower Compact, was founded on the Word of God. That fact is carved in stone on almost every national monument in Washington DC. However, for over 100 years our nation has slowly drifted from these Biblical principles. Then, over the last 50 years, the moral and spiritual decline has accelerated exponentially. We have cast God and His Word out of our schools and out of the public square. We kill our babies before they can experience life and even after they are born. We have redefined what it is to be male or female, and abominable sexual practices are celebrated and even encouraged. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12). However, America’s god is not the Lord, and we have not been chosen as His own inheritance like Israel. So, what right do we have to expect God to preserve our nation?

Like Israel, the USA, nationally, has fallen into idolatry – child sacrifice, sexual perversion, worship of the creation, etc. Like Judah, we had more than one good “king.” Donald J. Trump was the last one. I really do not care whether you like Trump or not, but he, like Josiah, overturned a lot of bad policies and made our nation prosperous during his short tenure as President. I will take his “mean tweets” over what we have now any day. The evil “left,” including the Demonrats and many Republicans, hates him because he threatened their wicked schemes. They hate him so much that they weaponized the FBI in order to destroy him and prevent him from running as President again. Why do they hate him so much? Because they prefer the darkness to the light, and they do not want their evil deeds exposed. They also hate anyone who supports Trump and have weaponized the IRS to go after his supporters (although they would never admit that). Recently, the House passed a bill to hire 87,000 IRS agents and arm them with 4600 guns and 5-million rounds of ammo.[8] Why does the IRS need armed agents?

I do not expect Trump to get reelected. If he does manage to survive this shameful sham of an investigation and run for President, I, for one, will vote for him. However, I expect that the Dems will steal the election again.

America does not have the promise of God that He will preserve this nation. I have no hope for the salvation of America from the abyss into which it is plunging. I often hear Christians quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 (out of context) and attempt apply it to the USA. However, the USA is not “God’s people.” Christians are. However, our citizenship is in heaven,[9] not here on earth.

God’s judgment is on our nation (and the world), and there is only one fix for this sick and troubled world. That is for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to return and set up His kingdom here on earth. We see the “signs of the times” converging and falling into place. The time is getting short. America, and the world in general, is becoming a dark, dark place and our only hope is Jesus.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Are you ready to meet Jesus? If not, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  2 Kings 21:1-18

[2]  2 Kings 21:3

[3]  2 Kings 21:4-5

[4]  2 Kings 21:1

[5]  2 Kings 21:19

[6]  2 Kings 21:20

[7]  2 Kings 22-23

[8]  https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/irs-starting-point-4600-guns-5-million-rounds-of-ammo-hitman-suits/ar-AA10BsNV

[9]  Philippians 3:20

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Magog, Tubal, and Persia

Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:9)

The prophet Ezekiel speaks of a time “in the latter years”[1] when a coalition of nations will come against Israel. The prophecy names the nations by their names assigned at time of the dispersion at the Tower of Babel.[2] The names are listed in the Table of Nations[3] and illustrated in the map above. Since that time, the names of these nations have changed many times over so that we no longer recognize them as those named by the prophet. However, God does not lose track, and He does not forget.

So, as we study Ezekiel’s prophecy in Chapters 38 and 39, it requires that we look at a map depicting where these nations ended up when they were originally dispersed. Let us examine Ezekiel’s list and compare it to the map above. I will emphasis the significant names.

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:1-6)

Note, first of all, that “Gog” is a person, not a nation. He is a “chief prince” from the nation of Magog. When we look at the map (above), we find that Magog, Meshech, and Gomer are in the region we recognize as Russia.

Tubal we recognize as modern-day Turkey. The “house of Togarmah” (not shown on this map) is also in the “north quarters” of Turkey and also in modern-day Georgia (Russia). Persia was known as Elam prior to Ezekiel’s time, and we find it on the map in the area of modern-day Iran.

Ezekiel lists the lands of Cush and Lud (from Genesis 10) as Ethiopia and Libya. As we look at the map, we observe that Cush is further south than modern-day Ethiopia and corresponds more closely to modern-day Somalia.

It is worth noting that all of these nations are Islamic nations with the exception of Russia, and even Russia has a high Muslim population.

Bringing Ezekiel’s prophecy forward to our day and time, we find that the prophecy speaks of a coalition of three main nations: Russia, Turkey, and Iran with Libya and Somalia in alliance. God says to these nations, “I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth” (Ezekiel 38:4, emphasis mine). “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land [Israel], thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezekiel 38:9-12, emphasis mine).

According to Ezekiel’s prophecy, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and their allies will invade Israel “to take spoil and to take prey.” Will this take place before or after the Rapture of the Church? Prophecy experts differ in opinion about this point. However, it appears that the stage is being set for that event.

On Friday of this week, July 22, 2022, the leaders of Russia, Turkey, and Iran met for the purpose of forming an alliance.[4] We have long known of the animosity Iran has toward Israel. Turkey has not necessarily been a friend to Israel. Lately, Russia’s relationship with Israel has cooled over Israel’s support for Ukraine. Additionally, Russia has stopped the migration of Jews from Russia to Israel. To top it off, Israel is on the verge of exporting its natural gas to Europe, which has the potential of cutting into Russia’s profits. The three nations are not happy with Israel and neither are their allies, Libya and Somalia.

It seems that it is only a matter of time before the “Gog of Magog” invasion takes place. Will the Bride of Christ witness this event? I do not know. What I do know is that the invasion will fail.

And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 38:18-23, emphasis mine)

God will intervene for Israel – not because Israel is a Godly nation, but because God is faithful to His promise. He said He would do it, and He will do it. And His purpose in doing so is so that Israel and all the world will witness Israel’s miraculous deliverance. “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 38:23, emphasis mine).

For the Christian, this should be encouraging news. We are seeing prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes, and that means our Lord’s return to call us home is very near. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Ezekiel 38:8

[2]  Genesis 11:1-9

[3]  Genesis 10

[4]  “Russia, Iran, and Turkey Forming a Biblical Alliance” — https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2022/07/22/russia-iran-and-turkey-forming-a-biblical-alliance/

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When You’re In the Hole, Stop Digging

A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. (Proverbs 14:16)

I have heard it said that insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. The nation of Judah exemplifies that notion, and I see the same pattern in our nation today.

Toward the end of the sixth century B.C., Judah rebelled against God and followed the gods of the pagan nations around them. Jeremiah prophesied during these final years of the nation and suffered severe persecution because of it. Judah knew the law of God and continued to practice the rituals, but their zeal was for the gods that are “no gods.” “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit” (Jeremiah 2:11).

The surrounding nations were faithful to their “gods,” yet Judah, who knew the true God, abandoned Him for the false gods. Not that God can be surprised by the actions of humans, but in human terms, their actions were perplexing. Despite numerous warnings and pleas, Judah refused to repent, until God finally had enough of their unfaithfulness. “How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses” (Jeremiah 5:7).

Johoiachin, a.k.a. Coniah,[1]a.k.a. Jeconiah,[2] a.k.a. Jechonias,[3] reigned as the final king of the sovereign nation of Judah. He was the third wicked successor of good king Josiah. By the time of his reign, Judah plunged to the depths of her depravity. To him God instructed Jeremiah to “Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day” (Jeremiah 36:2, emphasis mine). God wanted to make clear the warnings He had given in the recent past. This book was the written Word of God. However, rather than heed God’s Word, Johoiachin discarded the Word of God as rubbish to be burned. “And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, [Jehoiachin] cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth” (Jeremiah 36:23). The other national leaders in the audience did no better. “Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words” (Jeremiah 36:24). As a result, God allowed the Babylonians to invade and conquer Judah and Jerusalem.[4] This was the first time Nebuchadnezzar took away captives from Jerusalem. The prophet Daniel went into captivity at this time.

In many ways, Nebuchadnezzar showed kindness to Judah by installing Mattaniah, a.k.a. Zedekiah,[5] as king to govern the conquered province. One might think that Judah learned her lesson. “But neither [Zedekiah], nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words of the LORD, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 37:2). “And [Zedekiah] did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon” (2 Kings 24:19-20).[6]

Zedekiah was not alone in his rebellion against God. “Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place” (2 Chronicles 36:14-15, emphasis mine). One of those messengers through whom God showed compassion was Jeremiah. He suffered beatings and imprisonment for speaking God’s Word. Yet the people refused to listen. “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:16).

“And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah” (2 Kings 25:1-2). With Jerusalem under siege for more than two years, starvation and sickness plagued the city until they could not withstand the armies of Babylon. Jerusalem fell once again and Zedekiah and many others were taken captive for the second time. This time, Nebuchadnezzar was not so nice. He had Zedekiah’s sons killed as he watched and then had his eyes put out so that was the last thing Zedekiah saw.[7]

Jerusalem and the Temple were burned[8] and the Temple treasures were carried off to Babylon. Even with that, the people remained unrepentant until a third and final invasion took the last of the able-bodied.

Judah fell into a deep hole of depravity, but despite all of God’s pleading through His prophets, Judah just kept digging the hole deeper. It got to the point where God would not even entertain prayers on their behalf. God told Jeremiah to stop praying for these people.[9]

As I contemplate the state of our nation, the USA, and compare it to Judah, I see a perfect parallel, except for one thing. The nation of Israel has the promise of God for her preservation; the USA does not. God gave us a great land, godly founders, and a constitution founded on the Word of God. Throughout the years, God has provided great “prophets” proclaiming the Word of God, and for most of our history, we have listened to those prophets. No more! We have, as a nation, cast aside and trampled the Word of God. We embrace wickedness and call it inclusion. We bow at the altar of Gaia and call it “the Green New Deal.” We celebrate infanticide and call it women’s rights. We idolize celebrities in all their different venues – movies, sports, and even religion – while those that preach and teach the true Word of God are held in contempt. We have dug a deep hole for ourselves, and we only keep digging it deeper. Stop digging!

When Solomon dedicated the first Temple, he prayed that God would bless it. God answered, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14); but that promise was for them. Many well-meaning pastors urge their people to pray for our nation and claim this promise in hopes that it will turn around. However, that promise was not made to the USA. If anything, I hear God saying, “pray no more for this people.” The hope for this nation, and the world in general, is for Christ’s return to establish His righteous kingdom on earth. Our prayer, then, should be, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

Jesus is coming soon. The signs for His appearing are increasing in intensity and frequency. Are you prepared to meet Him? If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

 

Notes:

[1]  Jeremiah 22:24, 28; 37:1

[2]  Jeremiah 24:1

[3]  Matthew 1:11

[4]  2 Kings 24:10-12; Jeremiah 36:29-30

[5]  2 Kings 24:17; Jeremiah 37:1

[6]  2 Chronicles 36:13

[7]  2 Kings 25:3-7

[8]  2 Kings 25:8-10

[9]  Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11

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An Expected End

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)[1]

Christians often quote the verse above without understanding the context in which it was given. It is one of those feel-good verses that makes us feel special believing that God is looking out for us and only has good things in store for us. While that is certainly true to a great extent – God does care and provide for His own, and I can certainly testify to that in my own life. However, deeper thought should be given to the circumstances surrounding this passage.

The ten northern tribes of Israel were conquered and expatriated by Assyria around 722 B.C., and a short 136 years later, the southern kingdom, comprised of the two remaining tribes, Judah and Benjamin, was taken captive by Babylon. It was during this time that Jeremiah prophesied. Indeed, before the Babylonian conquest, Jeremiah urged Judah to repent of its idolatry and avoid what God determined to bring upon them. So deep had they fallen into sin that God actually instructed Jeremiah to stop praying on their behalf.[2]

God finally had it with His people and He summoned “His servant,” Nebuchadnezzar,[3] to conquer them and take them away captive, which he did in 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel, the prophet, and his friends,[4] captive in this first of three rounds of deportations.

Early in their captivity there arose false prophets telling the captives that their captivity would not be long and that God soon liberate them. That was not God’s plan, and He instructed Jeremiah to send a letter “unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon” (Jeremiah 29:1). In short, the letter instructed the people to settle down and prepare for a long stay – build houses, plant gardens, have children and grandchildren. Their stay would not be permanent, but it would be long – 70 years[5] to be exact. God encouraged them to “seek the peace of the city … and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).

Surely these were not ideal conditions for God’s people. Psalm 137 records how they felt. “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:1-4).

Under these circumstances, God promised, “For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:10-11, emphasis mine). God’s “good plan” for them was not immediate. Not until a generation away would God’s plan be realized. In the meantime, they had to endure the captivity, pray for their captors and get by in the best way they could. There was no easy way out.

The phrase, “to give you an expected end,” gives pause for thought. When we consider the rest of Israel’s history, we learn that their relationship with God did not improve that much. Yes, they finally gave up their overt idolatry, but they exchanged it for the idolatry of “religion” and “legalism.” After they returned to their homeland and after they rebuilt their Temple, God stopped talking to them for 400 years until Jesus came. So steeped were they in the practice of their religion and legalism, that they completely missed their promised Messiah. Their rejection of their Savior led to the dissolution of their nation and the dispersing of their people among the nations of the world.

Yet, when the prophets speak of the “expected end” – the Day of the Lord – Israel once again becomes a nation, and they finally recognize their Messiah whom they missed at His first coming. God says, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). This, I believe, is their “expected end” to which God referred in Jeremiah 29:11.

Now, with all this in mind, how does this verse apply to us? In many respects, we as Christians, are living in a kind of Babylon. The world grows continually more wicked every day. As Jesus warned, we live “as in the days of Noah.”[6] He said that we “are not of the world,”[7] yet we are “in the world.”[8] Our citizenship is in heaven.[9] Therefore, we need to conduct our lives in a manner befitting our true Kingdom. We should be good citizens in our current state and pray for our leaders and the welfare of our nation. We may not change the world (indeed, the Bible tells us that we won’t), but we do have an influence on people around us. And, God does know the thoughts and plans He has for us – thoughts of “peace” – the peace that only comes from His Holy Spirit in us. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). We also have an “expected end” with Him in heaven for all eternity, whether we meet Him in death or in the air.[10]

So, next time you hear Jeremiah 29:11 quoted out of context, think on these things. If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

 

Notes:

[1]  Many modern translations read, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (ESV) or “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (NASB). The Hebrew word that they translate as “welfare” and “prosperity” is “shâlôm,” which the KJV accurately translates as “peace.” It is no wonder that Christians often misapply this verse.

[2]  Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11

[3]  Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6

[4]  Daniel 1:3-6

[5]  Jeremiah 29:10

[6]  Matthew 24:37

[7]  John 17:14

[8]  John 17:15

[9]  Philippians 3:20

[10]  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

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Israel Forever!

Jerusalem

My personal Bible reading this morning had me in Jeremiah 31. In this chapter, God expresses His desire to restore Israel, not because Israel is sinless, but because God is faithful to keep His promise. All end-times prophecy centers on the nation of Israel, which is precisely why Satan has worked throughout history to destroy the nation. If Satan can destroy Israel then God can be shown to be unfaithful and unreliable. If God cannot keep His promises concerning Israel, neither can He keep His promises to us about our eternal life. That is why this is so important.

The prophecies of Israel’s restoration have been partially fulfilled. After almost 2000 years of diaspora, from which no culture in history has ever survived, the Jews, no matter where in the world they lived – Spain, Poland, Germany, Russia, America, etc. – they maintained their identity, customs, traditions, and even to a great extent, their language. Then on May 14, 1948, they became a nation once again, and they continue to attract Jews from all over the world. They are growing stronger in number, in wealth, and in science and technology. God’s promise has been and is being fulfilled in our time. And Satan hates it! Those that call America the Great Satan and Israel the Little Satan are Satan themselves.

But God is not blessing Israel because they are “good” or better than any other nation on earth. In fact, Israel is a very secular nation. It has, perhaps, one of the largest percentages per capita of homosexuals in the world. Many of the Jews keep the customs and traditions but are really atheist in their beliefs. The truly religious Jews hold the minority in the nation. So, God is not blessing them because they are faithful to Him. He is blessing them because He promised to do so, and God keeps His Word.

However, one day very soon, all the Jews that survive the coming events of “Jacob’s trouble,” aka, the Tribulation, will finally return to God.

For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God. For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. (Jeremiah 31:6-9)

God says …

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)

In that day – during the Millennial reign of Christ – all of Israel will turn to God. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

And here is how sure God’s promise is. God says that when the physical laws that govern the sun, moon, and stars cease to function, then will God break His promise. When man is able to discover the boundaries of the universe or discover the foundations of the earth, then will God’s promise cease to be in effect. Hear this …

Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:35-37)

God has been faithful to keep His promise to Israel thus far and unless the physical laws which govern the universe cease to function – and it is God who established and maintains the physical laws – God will keep His promise to Israel, not because they deserve it, but because God is faithful. For those of us who have placed our faith, trust, and hope in Christ for our eternal salvation, we can know without a doubt that He will be faithful to keep His promises to us.

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