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An Everlasting Covenant

By Watchman | July 1, 2009

“Now the Lord had said to Abram:

‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ ”  (Genesis 12:1-3)

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations….I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.  And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.  Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Gen. 17:4,6-8)

Scripture tells us that the Word of God is unchanging and unchangeable.  If we are to believe, as I do, in the absolute authority and inerrancy of the Bible , then we have to be looking very carefully today at what goes on in the nation of Israel.  Israel (also called in Scripture Zion and the Promised Land) was given to the chosen people of God originally through Abraham with whom God established a covenant that He called everlasting.  The first thing we have to understand in this context is that Christians did not replace the Jewish nation in the esteem of God.  We as Christians are indeed the Bride of Christ.  The Jews always have been and always will be the wife of Jehovah.  God gave them a “bill of divorcement” and scattered them amongst the nations of the world as punishment for their unbelief and for their sins against Him. This period of time between the days in which God dispersed His people and the regathering of the nation of Israel is known as the Diaspora.

Old Testament prophets made it clear that God had not given up on His chosen people.  Angry though He may have been at the unbelief and the sin of His people Israel, God promised from the beginning that His people would be regathered as a nation, and that His everlasting covenant would never be broken.

“He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”  (Isaiah 11:12)

“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’  Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the the ends of the earth–everyone who is called by My name…”  (Isaiah 43:5-7)

“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.  For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.  Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Lord…their souls shall be like a well-watered garden and they shall sorrow no more at all.”  (Jeremiah 31:10-12)

Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them…'” (Ezekiel 37:23)

Christ, in the New Testament, spoke of the regathering of Israel as one definitive sign of the end of the age:

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree (the fig tree and the olive tree were  symbols of Israel throughout the Bible): When its branch has already tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things, know that it (His return) is near–at the door!” (Matthew 24:32,33)

Clearly, the fig tree blooming was a picture of Israel once again becoming a nation.  Remember that in Jesus’ time the Romans controlled Judea, despite the fact that there was once again a Jewish population in Israel.

Make no mistake here:  replacement theology (the belief that the Hebraic covenants have been supplanted by Christ’s covenant with the Church) is neither Scriptural nor acceptable to the Lord.  While we obviously cannot always agree with or approve of everything that the governing body (the Knesset) of Israel does, God has made it clear that He will judge nations according to their dealings with the land of Israel.  It is true that the majority of Jews in Israel and the rest of the world are still rejecting the notion that Jesus is the Messiah for whom they have waited throughout the centuries, although Messianic Jews (Jewish believers) are growing in number.  Paul tells us in the eleventh chapter of Romans that “blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”  Earlier in the same chapter he puts forward the notion that it was because of the failings of the Jews to recognize the true Messiah that salvation was able to come to the Gentile nations; that the Gentile Christians were “grafted in” to the olive tree (those people chosen by God) by adoption but that in the end times all of Israel would be saved as they are grafted back into the family.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heve it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”  (Zechariah 12:2,3)

Well, Jerusalem (and Israel itself) has become the stumbling-block to the nations that was predicted hundreds of years before the birth of Christ.   For centuries after the last diaspora, the Jews of the world settled in different nations –often with a remnant present in the Holy Land given to them by God.  Most were driven off the land that was given to Abraham by God thousands of years before by invading empires.  For several hundred years, the land that belonged to God’s chosen people remained barren wasteland, called by the Romans “Palestine” (or, Land of the Philistines) as part of an effort to wipe out the Jewish people and erase any connection with their homeland.  Though this fact is obscured by the falsehoods popularly circulated via the politically-correct media, there has never been an independent country or state of Palestine, nor has any entity been under “Palestinian rule.”  Most Arabs who call themselves Palestinians were calling themselves Jordanians until the time of the Six Day War (at that time, only Jews were referred to as Palestinians), although Syria had considered Palestine a part of southern Syria.  After Israel’s capture of the West Bank in 1967, certain of the Arab leadership (led by terrorist Yasser Arafat) realized that if they took the name of Palestinians now that the Jews were being referred to as Israelis, they could convert the perception of the Arab-Israeli conflict from a war of annihilation against the Jewish population to the struggle of a dispossessed indigenous people against the wicked invaders who took land to which they had no real claim.  And did this ever take the trick!  The fact that Israel had existed thousands of years before Islam was forgotten as the world began to condemn Israel for insisting on keeping its land as a Jewish state–a nation the size of which is slightly smaller than the American state of New Jersey.  The United Nations has many times imposed sanctions on Israel for their supposed “crimes against the Palestinians”, yet has passed no sanctions on the Palestinians for their continued onslaught of terrorism in Israel.

In a misguided effort to achieve peace with the surrounding Arab-Islamic nations, Israel gave up the area of land known as the Gaza Strip, withdrawing all of Israel’s soldiers and residents, in 2005.  Since that time, southern Israel has had the grief of watching the prosperous, thriving community they left (including some incredibly prosperous green houses left intact for the use of the Palestinians) revert into  a poverty-stricken and desolate area as the only goal of the Palestinians is to annihilate the nation of Israel.   Now the demand is stronger for a “two-state” solution in Israel, despite the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have no intention of ever living in peace with the Jews.  Our own government, complicit in the urging of Israel to cede the Gaza Strip in 2005, is actively trying to force Israel into accepting an open-bordered alliance with the people most set on Israel’s destruction.  Understand, brothers-and-sisters-in-Christ:  God will not hesitate to judge and punish those nations that work against the best interests of His chosen people.  He will continue to protect and guide Israel, but He will not continue to keep a hand of blessing on those nations, including our own, that try to drive Israel into dividing Jerusalem or giving up more of the land that God has given to His people.  Much of the past prosperity in the United States has been due to the friendship that has traditionally been in place between the Gentiles and the Jews of the US; America’s support for the the 1948 rebirth of the nation of Israel was a major reason for her position as a world leader in the twentieth century.  However, the balance is shifting in the United States as there is a growing desire to appease the Islamic nations who consider Israel to be the “little Satan” and the US as the “Big Satan.”  As the administration leans ever closer to diplomatic negotiations with the terrorist nation of Iran and giving more aid and comfort to the Palestinians, Israel is becoming wary of American involvement in her affairs.  As we have now demanded that Israel stop building on her own territory (an injunction they are hardly likely to take seriously), the assurance that the American bond with Israel will not cease is beginning to sound empty and hollow.  Just as the worst hurricane season to ever devastate the US came upon us immediately after our urging of Israel to give up more of its God-given land, we can expect retribution if we refuse to look at the Middle-East situation from the point of view of what God would have us do.

When the time is right, when the “fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” God will remove the blinders from the eyes of His chosen people, and He will once more take His place as the Husband of the Jewish people.  We, the Bride of Christ, are instructed to love His people, support His nation, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem:  knowing of course, that peace will come to Jerusalem only when Jesus’ feet will touch the Mount of Olives and He is acknowledged as  King of Kings and Lord of Lords on the earth!

We have no excuse.  We know God’s mind where His people Israel are concerned.  We know that God’s love is infinite and His word is eternal.  We know that although certain covenants instituted by God were conditional (for example, from 1Samuel 12:14,15:  IF you will fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, THEN both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God.  However, IF you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, THEN the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers” ), the covenants that He made with Abraham and his descendants and with David, the “man after God’s own heart” were everlasting covenants.  In a seeming contradiction (but isn’t if you stop to think about the meaning of absolute honor and absolute truth), the only thing that really isn’t possible for God is to go against His own word.  We’ve seen this in God’s merciful regathering of Israel after 3000 years of exile (give or take a few hundred years!).  All of those Old Testament prophecies about Israel being reborn came to fruition in May of 1948–when only a miracle could have birthed this nation wandering for centuries among the entire earth.  The sons of Ishmael (Abraham’s son by his wife’s handmaiden) have been determined since the earliest times to eradicate the Jews of the world, yet have been unable to do so.  Though these people (now the Arab/Islamic nations) are as great in number as God had said they would be, they have still been unable to do away with the people chosen by God to be called after His name.  The Roman Empire, the most powerful empire  in history was unable to exterminate the Jews, although they lead  pograms against the Jews and thousands were killed.  Even in the days of the Holocaust, when six million Jews were murdered by a regime that set itself up in opposition to God, God saw to it that a remnant of His people survived so that the covenants He made would be kept and His people able to reestablish the homeland He set aside specifically for them.  What an awesome God!! He is always loving, always merciful and always true to His word!

My friends, pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Maranatha!

A Special Note:  For those of you who, like me, love Israel and the Jewish people, an organization exists that is writing a new prophecy Bible aimed solely at showing Jews how Yeshua fits the Old Testament prophecies of Messiah.  These people are Messianic Jews and are dedicating their lives to the spread of the Gospel message to their fellow Israelis.  This is truly a righteous cause and worthy of your prayers and (if at all possible) your financial support!  You can visit them on the Net at www.messianicbible.com/

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