Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
Never before was an ancient nation
destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the earth-and yet for centuries
remain a separate and distinct people. Then, for that people to be regathered
to its ancient homeland and re-established as a nation after nearly 2,000 years
is a contradiction of time and logic. The rebirth of the Nation of Israel in
1948 was an unparalleled miracle of history.
This miracle of rebirth actually had its
conception in 1878. David Ben Gurion observed that the new State of Israel did
not begin in 1948 but with the pioneering efforts of Jewish immigrants that
began in 1878 with the founding of the Jewish settlement Petah Tikvah—which
means "Door of Hope."1
The year 1878 did mark the beginning of an incredible fulfillment of a series
of Bible prophecies related to the miraculous restoration of natural Israel. In
that year the ban on Jewish immigration and Jewish Land purchase was eased. In
fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the massive return of the Jew in Diaspora to his
ancient homeland commenced (Jeremiah 16:14-16; Isaiah 43:4-6). The purchasing
of land itself was a fulfillment of prophecy (Jeremiah 32:44). At exorbitant
prices, barren desert and malVerdana swamps were purchased from absentee Moslem
landowners. Miraculous climatic changes as well nourished the dry and thirsty
Land (Joel 2:21-24). The very heavens opened and "the early rains,"
which for centuries fell only moderately, increased. The "latter
rains" awoke from centuries of dormant slumber. As a result, the barren
desert and malVerdana swamps began to blossom "as the rose"—fulfilling
the Divine prediction of vineyards and gardens and roses (Isaiah 35:1; Amos
Then the birth pangs of the Jewish State
began. In 1929 the Arabs in Hebron massacred 67 Jews.† 2
In the 1930s under the direction of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,†† 3 a minority
of Arabs in Palestine, inspired by Nazi propaganda, plotted the
"stillbirth" of the Jewish State. These "spasms of travail"
were reflected in calculated acts of terror against the Jewish settlements.
Then in the 1940s the Mufti (who was Yassir Arafat's uncle‡ 4) joined
with Adolph Eichmann in Europe in the systematic extermination of the Jews.‡‡ 5
History has recorded this shameful event as "The Holocaust." Finally,
recognizing the enormous slaughter, the guilt-ridden nations felt a moral
obligation to grant the Jews an independent state. In spite of the fact that
the UN Partition Plan of 1947 dismembered the Land of Israel, Arab nations were
determined to prevent the Jews from having any of it.
The Divine Physician, however, prevented the
"stillbirth" of the Jewish nation. During the final travail, Israel's
War of Independence, the Jewish State was born—notwithstanding the fact it was
outnumbered 100 to one by the invading armies of six Arab states. The newborn
State developed by massive immigration. Land reclamation continued in
fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The miraculous Six Day War in 1967 added
Israel's ancient territories of Samaria, Judea, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip
and the Golan Heights to the modern State. All the while quoting Bible
prophecies about Israel's restoration, both Prime Ministers Menachim Begin and
Yitzhak Shamir systematically helped 130,000 Jewish settlers to flourish in Samaria,
Judea and Gaza. The sudden fall of Communism in 1989, that was in itself a
miracle, stimulated another miraculous growth spurt by the massive influx of
half a million Russian Jews to Israel. Excitement was running high. Certainly
one or two million would shortly follow.
Israel's prophetic momentum, however, seems
to have stalled. In the 1992 general elections the nationalist camp (Likud and
the right wing parties) received the majority of Jewish Israeli votes but the
marginal Arab Israeli vote put the Labor Party in power. The Labor government
under Ben Gurion and Golda Meir still had the Zionist ideal, that "the
Torah would go forth from Zion"—albeit in humanist terms. Seemingly, the
highest idealism inspiring the current Labor government is a "common
market of the Middle East" in which Israel would be a tiny island in the
midst of a sea of Arab and Moslem nations. Furthermore, the immigration of
Russian Jews has slowed to a trickle. Giving up "land for peace"
appears a looming reality.
Thus with Israel's prophetic momentum in
fulfilling Bible prophecy seemingly grinding to a halt, many Evangelical
Christians are reconsidering their prophetic expectations. Perhaps, they say,
the traditional churches were right—Israel has been permanently replaced by the
Christian Church. Perhaps the Palestinian claim of a large Arab community in
Palestine with a continuity reaching back several thousand years is correct.
Would not the World Powers be justified then in pressuring Israel to give up
Land? These doubts, however, are without a Biblical foundation. Though Bible
prophecy can be demonstrated by the perspective of current events, Bible
prophecy cannot be determined by today's headlines.
One perspective overrides all peace
initiatives, compromises and accords: God's perspective. The Judaic Christian
Bible discloses not only God's perspective, but His agenda for implementing His
own incontestable peace plan. The following presentation is an endeavor to
document and submit for consideration God's perspective:
God's promise to Israel that the Holy Land belongs to the Jews forever had
never been forfeited.
As prophesied, the Land would remain relatively "desolate" for
centuries during Israel's temporary expulsion. Finally, at God's appointed
time, the Jewish people would return to their Land and this returning
prosperity to the Land would attract a large influx of Arabs from surrounding
God has indicted the Gentile nations who partitioned God's Land by giving
portions of it to the Arabs.
Regardless of the outcome of the "peace process," the Scriptures seem
to indicate a final Israeli-Arab war which would yield the rightful borders to
the Land of Israel.
The question of the size of the "remnant" of Israel is Scripturally
defined as large. The destination of the road to peace will be reached in the
final harmony of Israel and the Arabs when God's Kingdom is established on
earth with Jerusalem as its capital.
Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
Perspective of Historic Rights
The Arab Palestinians claim historic roots
and historic rights to the Land of Israel. But there is a higher perspective of
history—the perspective of the One who writes history before it happens. The
Bible, God's Word, defines the actual boundaries the State of Israel is to
possess. These boundaries are based on God's promise to Abraham and his
"seed" or descendants. The promise was reiterated to Isaac (not
Ishmael) and then to Jacob whose name was changed to "Israel." The children
of Israel were promised to possess all the Land "from the river of Egypt
to the great river, the river Euphrates" (Genesis 15:18).
Greatest Grand Larceny in History
Long before the revisionism of Holocaust
history, Christians made a revision of God's promises to Israel. Afflicted with
anti-Semitism for over seventeen hundred years, the traditional churches
quickly developed "Replacement Theology," which is in reality
"revisionist theology." Early church theologians wrongly concluded
that Israel as a people was eternally rejected by God for having rejected
Jesus. The claim is that the church is now spiritual Israel and, as such, has
replaced natural Israel. This "Replacement Theology" is still held by
most mainline Christian denominations and is now making inroads in Evangelical
churches especially in the charismatic movement under the banner of
"Reconstructionism." This theology also falsely concludes that Israel
has lost all claim to its Land. This attempt to deprive the overwhelming majority
of the Jewish people since the time of Jesus of its glorious eternal destiny is
the greatest grand larceny attempt in history.
The King James version of the Bible is
replete with examples of "revisionist theology." Chapter after
chapter of Old Testament prophecies contain promises of God's blessing to
Israel and Jacob. The publishers, who are revisionists, attempt to negate the
Jewish people in these chapters by arbitrarily adding chapter headings which
apply the verses to the Christian church. While at times "Israel" can
be symbolic of the Church, "spiritual Israel," promises to
"Jacob" always refer to "natural Israel." Whole chapters of
Divine blessings and promises have been literally stolen from the Jewish
people. This is simply grand larceny. Isaiah 43, for example, God addresses His
promises to "O Jacob" and "O Israel." The chapter heading
arbitrarily reads in most King James Bibles, however, "God comforteth the
Church with His promises."
The anti-Semitic spirit of "Replacement
Theology" becomes evident when dealing with the chapters in the Old
Testament that refer to God's curses against Israel. In these verses,
spiritualizing the meaning of "Israel" is not attempted. But whenever
God's curses to Israel appear, they are readily applied to the Jews. Above Isaiah
59 is added a heading, "The sins of the Jews." Yet in the very next
chapter, Isaiah 60, these very same Jewish people are robbed by the
revisionists of their God-given promise of future glory. Note the false chapter
heading in most King James Bibles, "Glory of the Church." The
historian James Parkes observed:6
Christian theologians divided it [the Old Testament] into the story of two
people…the virtuous Hebrews…had all the praise and the promises and the wicked
Jews had all the crimes and denunciations. This was the interpretation [of
Replacement Theology] repeated over and over again, in every possible
variation, and in every century from the third century onward.
And the Early Church Fathers
What are the unfortunate origins of
"Replacement Theology"? This "revisionist" or
"Replacement Theology" had its roots in the anti-Semitism of the
so-called Early Church Fathers.
An early Church writing, the Epistle of
Barnabas, said that Jews had no future with any God-given covenant. "Do
not add to your sins and say that the covenant is both theirs and ours,"
he insisted. "Yes! It is ours; but they thus lost it forever."7
Justin Martyr, writing to the Jewish leader
Trypho (A.D. 138), quoted from the Jewish Scriptures, which he referred to as
"your Scriptures, or rather not yours, but ours." He also stated that
the "prophetical gifts…formerly among your nation have been transferred to
In A.D. 387 John Chrysostom ranted,
"Since the deicide, the Jews have been delivered into the hands of the
demons…they are only fit to be butchered…their behavior is no better than that
of swine and oxen in the gross lewdness…The synagogue is a brothel, a cave of
brigands, a den of ferocious animals…."9 He also
argued that when Christians beat and murder Jews, the Jews are to blame, not
the Christians who had acted through "God's will."10
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, ordered the
burning of a synagogue in A.D. 388, "so that there would be no place where
Christ is rejected." In his eyes, the synagogue "was destroyed by the
judgment of God."11
Theology" and Anti-Semitism
As "Replacement Theology" was
begotten by the anti-Semitism of the Early Church Fathers, so Martin Luther is
an example of how the acceptance of "Replacement Theology" can, in
turn, beget anti-Semitism. In an article entitled, "That Jesus Was Born a
Jew," dated 1523, Luther initially said:12
they [the Catholics] have dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs and not
human beings. They have done nothing for them but curse them and seize their
wealth. I would advise and beg everybody to deal kindly with the Jews and to
instruct them in the Scriptures; in such a case we could expect them to come
over to us. We must receive them kindly and allow them to compete with us in earning
a livelihood. . .and if some remain obstinate, what of it? Not everyone is a
When the Jews did not convert as Luther
expected, he wrote a pamphlet in his later years, "Concerning the Jews and
Their Lies," in which he listed eight actions to be taken against the
Burn all synagogues
Forbid Jews to travel
Destroy Jewish dwellings
Forbid Jews to charge
interest on loans to non-Jews and confiscate Jewish property
Confiscate the Jews' holy
Force Jews to do physical
Forbid rabbis to teach
Expel the Jews from
provinces where Christians live
Today "Replacement" theologians
also, wrongly conclude that the Jewish people have lost all rights to their
Land. Accordingly, they claim all prophecies—especially in the books of Isaiah
and Jeremiah concerning Israel's restoration to its historic Land—were
fulfilled with the return of Israel after the Babylonian captivity (536 B.C.).
Then, they say, any further promises of blessing after 536 B.C. would be
conditional to their faithfulness and since they proved totally unfaithful in
rejecting Jesus, any further blessing as a nation or people was forfeited.
Do the Scriptures Say?
This revisionist concept of Israel's
forfeiture of their Land is refuted by the prophet Jeremiah. "Thus saith
the LORD…if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then will
I cast away the seed of Jacob…for I will cause their captivity to return
[Hebrew-return from exile] and have mercy on them" (Jeremiah 31:35-37;
33:25-26). These two prophecies in Jeremiah together devastate
"Replacement Theology." Only when God's laws of the universe cease to
control day and night and the operation of heaven and earth, only then will God
cast off the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then Jeremiah shows, "That
the city [Old Jerusalem] shall be built to the Lord" by the returned Jews
and furthermore, "It shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down anymore
forever" (Jeremiah 31:38-40). The descendants of Israel (Jacob)—not
Ishmael or Esau—will receive the city of Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem)
Zechariah was written after the return from
Babylonian captivity and during the building of the second temple. Yet
Zechariah prophesied a future dispersion and final regathering of Israel to its
Land—culminating in Jerusalem becoming the capital of God's kingdom on earth.
8:7-8 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people
from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and
they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I
will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."
8:13 "And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the
heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye
shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong."
8:20-23 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that
there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the
inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray
before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many
people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem,
and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it
shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the
nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We
will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."
Certainly, the prophecies in Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, and others, speak of Israel's first restoration to its
Land, after the 70 years' desolation/captivity. But they also speak of Israel's
final restoration in the "last days" and in "those days"
which will culminate in God's Kingdom on earth. When has a kingdom of universal
peace, prosperity, happiness and economic security ever been established
(Isaiah 2:2-4; Jeremiah 31:29-34; Micah 4:1-7)? Isaiah reveals a set of
prophecies indicating that Israel will be restored to Divine favor—playing a
central role in God's future Kingdom on earth—long after the death of Jesus.
2:1-4 "The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and
Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the
LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be
exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people
shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the
house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk
in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD
from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many
people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into
pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they
learn war any more."
Although written before the Babylonian
dispersion, the Book of Isaiah speaks of the LORD regathering Israel the second
time. He had regathered them the first time after the seventy years'
desolation/captivity. Israel was not dispersed again until A.D. 70—nearly forty
years after Jesus' death when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. The
regathering of the Jews to their promised Land in our era is the "second
time" regathering of Isaiah's prophecy.
11:11-12 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall
set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which
shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush,
and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the
sea [the nations far beyond Babylon]. And he shall set up an ensign for the
nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the
dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."
This "second time" regathering was
predicted to be from nations far beyond Babylon. Deuteronomy indicates Jews
would be scattered to nations not known to their fathers.
28:36-37 "The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set
over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers [Abraham came from
Babylon, Genesis 11:31] have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood
and stone. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword,
among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee."
Because the Prophet Jeremiah quotes these
very words of Moses, the "fathers" Jeremiah refers to must be a
reference to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This prophecy refers to the
"fathers" before Israel entered the Land—not as revisionists wrongly
claim, the "fathers" or leaders of disobedience who led them after
they entered the Land. Although Jeremiah lived before the 70 years'
desolation/captivity, he was already predicting the second dispersion into a
land that their "fathers" never knew. This second dispersion would
extend far beyond Babylon or the Chaldees where "father" Abraham once
lived. Therefore, Jeremiah presents a thrilling prophecy of both a second
dispersion and the miraculous second regathering that is now being fulfilled.
16:13-15 "Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that
ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods
day and night; where I will not shew you favour. Therefore, behold, the days
come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought
up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that
brought up the children of israel from the land of the north and from all the
lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land
that I gave unto their fathers."
Another example of a prophecy written before
the Babylonian captivity with an end-time fulfillment is in Zephaniah 3:8,9.
This prophecy includes the time when God pours out his wrath on all the
kingdoms of this earth. Then He "turns to the people a pure language [the
true gospel], that they may all call upon the name of the LORD with one
consent." Never in the past have "all" called upon the Name of
The same chapter wonderfully deals with
natural Israel's "end time" restoration and Israel's leading role in
3:19-20 "Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I
will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get
them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that
time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will
make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back
your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD."
These end-time prophecies obviously were not
fulfilled during the return following the Babylonian captivity. The Jews have
not been replaced or displaced from these prophetic promises of God. These
prophecies concerning modern Israel's restoration are unequivocally sure of
More Pulled Up"
The Scriptures, furthermore, speak of this
final regathering as culminating in joy and blessing that will never end.
31:10-12 "Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in
the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep
him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and
ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they
shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the
goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young
of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and
they shall not sorrow any more at all."the height of Zion, and shall flow
together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and
for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a
watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all."
This time is yet future when Israel,
restored to its Land, will experience an eternity of joy.
9:14-15 "And I will bring again the captivity [return from exile] of
my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them;
and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also
make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land,
and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them,
saith the LORD thy God."
Such prophesies as these cannot be logically
interpreted in any symbolic sense. Israel is to be literally planted again
"upon their own land," the Land of their fathers—Canaan. God had
given them the Land by divine promise to Abraham and his seed—an
"everlasting possession." This promise is from God Himself and must
eventually, therefore, be fulfilled. The original promise to Abraham stands
13:14-17; 17:8 "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 forever, . . .
Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it;
for I will give it unto thee. . . . I will give it unto thee, and to thy seed
after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for
an everlasting possession."
"No more pulled up"…"give the
Land forever"…"an everlasting possession"—these phrases speak of
Israel's future and eternal possession of the Land. The LORD specifically
promised Canaan, "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee,
the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an
everlasting possession" (Genesis 17:8). The Christian Stephen declared
that Abraham never received the Land in fulfillment of God's promise recorded
in Genesis (Acts 7:5). Stephen's logic is that Abraham will receive the Land in
God's Kingdom and all his descendants (the Jewish people) shall receive the
Land after him as an "everlasting possession." Canaan is not in heaven.
Canaan is on earth.
All of these prophecies harmonize with
Apostle Paul's inspired reasoning in Romans 11:25-36. Contrary to Replacement
Theology, "All Israel shall be saved" from both Adamic death and the
condemnation of the Law—"for the gifts and callings of God are without
repentance" (Romans 11:29).
Zionists "Watchmen" in Israel
Possibly the most pertinent scripture to the
current Land issue and the "peace process" is Jeremiah 31:5-10. In
the context of the end-time regathering of the Jewish people to their Land, the
LORD says, "Again [after their exile from the Land] you shall plant
vineyards on the mountains of Samaria [the so-called "West Bank"]…
watchmen on the Mount Ephraim [also the so-called "West Bank"] shall
cry, arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God." The
Biblical Zionists are the "watchmen" and many live on the mountains
of Samaria and Ephraim. The Biblical Zionists are calling the secular Israelis
to turn to the LORD and His Bible. A debate is raging in Israel today between
the Biblical Zionists and the secular Israelis.
However, vs. 7 stands out as addressing
Christians. "For thus saith the LORD [here Christians, a class not
represented in Jacob, are instructed to] sing with gladness for Jacob [natural
Israel] and shout among the chief [Hebrew lit. "head"] of the nations
[the U.S. is the chief nation today]: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD,
save thy people, the remnant of Israel."† 14
Christians are instructed to pray to God to save the people of Israel—including
those who are living in the mountains of Samaria and Ephraim (the "West
Bank"). Christians are also instructed to "publish" to the
United States what God is doing. Is the U.S. cooperating with God's purposes?
By pressuring Israel to give up the West Bank, the U.S. is working against God.
The U.S. is working against the LORD who said, "I am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn [those who live in Samaria]" (Jeremiah
31:9-12). The prophecy concludes by revealing all nations should recognize that
the Lord is restoring Jacob, natural Israel, to its land.
The promises to natural Israel have not been
forfeited to Christians. These promises of return to the Land do not refer to
the return from Babylon, but to the current miraculous restoration to
nationhood. Israel now will no "more be pulled up." Never.
Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
An Overview of History
With the exception of the 70 years'
Babylonian desolation/captivity, the Jewish people have lived without
interruption in the Land of Israel as a nation until A.D. 70-135—ending a
period of over seventeen hundred years. The Jewish population of Israel peaked
at two and one-half million before the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.
70 and the massive slaughter and expulsion of Jews for the Second Dispersion.† 15
If the Jews have a God-given right to the
Land, why were the Jews expelled from the Land of Israel by the Romans? Why was
the door to "Palestine," as renamed by the Romans, generally shut to
Jews for so many centuries? Jesus gave the reason for this dispersion. Shortly
after presenting himself to Israel as king (in fulfillment of Zechariah 10:9),
he indicted Israel because they killed the prophets and failed to accept him.
Jesus said, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate" (Matthew
Similarly, Zechariah predicted that the LORD would render "double"
(Hebrew mishneh, "an equal portion") because they did not turn to
Jesus, their "stronghold." Israel would need to experience a period
of disfavor equal to their period of favor from the Lord (Zechariah 10:12).
Regarding that equal portion of time in the
disfavor of God, Jeremiah predicted that God's "recompense [for] their
iniquity and their sin double" would be accomplished before the current
massive regathering of the Jews to their Land (Jeremiah 16:14-18, especially
vs. 18). The opening of the doors of the Land to the Jews can be pinpointed at
1878 when, by the diplomatic skill of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at the
Berlin Congress of Nations, Britain was given a protectorate over Palestine.
Disraeli had approached the Congress with the intention of achieving that
control over Palestine fully expecting a mass immigration of Jews to reach
"one million strong, speaking one language, and animated by one spirit to
achieve autonomy and independence."17 This turn
of events finally eased restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase in
Also at this time, Jews established the
first agricultural settlement—Petah Tikvah "Door of Hope"—in the
ancient Land of their ancestors.18 Here the
reclamation of the Land by Jewish immigrants began.19 This
regathering beginning in 1878 actually marked the first tangible sign of God's
favor returning to the Jewish people.
Jeremiah prophesied that the Land would be
restored to the Jews after it had become "desolate without man and without
beast" (Jeremiah 33:10-16). Again, how do we know that this promise of
restoration to the Land was not fulfilled with the return from Babylon?
Jeremiah, after all, wrote before the 70 years' desolation. Vs. 15,16,
predicted a permanent restoration that will culminate in the Messianic Age.
"I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David. Jerusalem
shall dwell safely." Jerusalem did not dwell "safely" after the
temporary restoration from the 70 years' desolation/captivity. This permanent
restoration was to occur after the Second Dispersion—which Jesus prophesied
would be worldwide (Luke 21:24).
From A.D. 70 until the current regathering,
God intended that the Land of Israel would become barren of man and beast. Why?
The Land then could receive a mass influx of Jewish immigrants at the prophetic
time. No nation would be able to establish itself in Palestine during the
interim period. But here we are faced with a credibility gap between the Bible
and the Arab Palestinian claim. The Bible speaks of a massive dispersion of
Jews followed by centuries of a minimum of inhabitants until God's regathering
of Jews back to their Land. However, the Arab Palestinians claim that from the
conquest of the Land by the Arabs (A.D. 640-1099), a thriving Palestinian
culture developed. Which of these two views of history do the facts affirm?
Record of History
Although the expulsions of Jews after A.D.
70 and 135 were massive, devotion to the Land of Israel caused some to linger
just outside the borders, wait for quieter times and keep coming back. One of
the so-called Early Church Fathers, Origen, during his stay in the Holy Land
from A.D. 231-254, observed that the Jews were still a majority in the Land at
that time. After the Roman Empire embraced Christianity in the fourth century,
a systematic dispersal of the remaining Jews began. However, between A.D.
614-617, the Jews actually controlled large parts of the Land:20
large-scale uprising [of Jews in Palestine], supported by an invading Persian
army, was so successful that for three years the Jews seem to have exercised
control over large parts of the country including Jerusalem and Tiberias
After this interlude of three years, the
Persians were defeated and Jerusalem returned to the Byzantine Christians.21
Consequently, the population of the Land was
a "quilt" of minorities when the Arabs acquired it in their conquest
of Byzantine Syria in A.D. 640. This quilt of people whose Land was dubbed
"Palestine" by Imperial Rome was composed of Jews, Samaritans,
dissident-Christians and the largest grouping-Syrian Orthodox Christians-none
of whom were Arabs.
Although the Arabs ruled the Land from A.D.
640 to A.D. 1099, it is questionable that they ever became the majority of the
population. The historian James Parker wrote:22
the first century after the Arab conquest [A.D. 670-740], the caliph and
governors of Syria and the Land [Palestine] ruled entirely over Christian and
Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the only Arabs
west of the Jordan. . .were the garrisons.
In A.D. 985 the Arab writer Muqaddasi
complained about the large majority Jewish population in Jerusalem and added,
"The mosque is empty of worshippers. . ."23 Although
Al-Hakim, Caliph of the Arab Empire (A.D. 996-1021), ordered all non-Moslems in
Syria and the area called Palestine to convert to Islam or be expelled, he
later rescinded some of the restrictions and so the Arabs remained a minority.
The noted Arab historian Dr. Philip Hitti observed that after almost four
centuries after the Arab conquest (about A.D. 1070), the Christians (non-Arabs)
in Syria, including Palestine, were still fully as numerous as the Moslems and
that the Moslems were by no means all Arab.24
The Crusader rule (A.D. 1099-1291) in the
Land was followed by the non-Arab Moslem rule of the Mamelukes (A.D.
1291-1517). The Arab historian Hitti observed that there was a large exodus of
Arabs during this period.25 The Arab
historian Ibu Khaldun wrote in A.D. 1377, "Jewish sovereignty in the Land
of Israel extended over 1400 years. . . . It was the Jews who implanted the
culture and customs of the permanent settlement."26 Nearly
300 years after the Arab rule in the Land, the noted Arab historian Khaldun
(called one of the greatest historians of all time by Arnold Toynbee) observed
that the Land still was permeated with Jewish culture and customs. In A.D.
1400, nearly 300 years after Arab rule, there was still no evidence of
Palestinian roots or established culture.
During the period of the Mamelukes as a
consequence of the white Plague, the population of the Land west of the Jordan
River dwindled down to 140,000 to 150,000 Moslems, Christians and Jews.27 After the
Turkish conquest in 1517 a census for tax purposes tabulated 49,181 heads of
families and single men liable to tax. Professor Roberto Bacchi calculated that
in the years 1553-1554 there were 205,000 Moslems, Christians and Jews. From
his travels in 1785, Francois Comte de Volney's figures would leave less than
200,000 for the total population of the land of Palestine.28 Both Dr. Philip K.
Hitti and Alfred Bonni agree that the total population was less than 200,000 in
Some estimate the total population of the Land at 150,000 by 1850. This total
population would include Jews, Christians and Arabs.
Then Jewish funds started to flow into the
Land by 1856 when Sir Moses Montefiore purchased Land outside of Jerusalem to
teach agriculture to the Jews in the Land.31 From
about 1878, Edmond de Rothschild began to actually finance the establishment of
Jewish agricultural colonies. At this time in history, an uninterrupted stream
of Jewish funds and Jewish immigration commenced to pour into Palestine. This
influx of resources resulted in an economic upswing that attracted Arabs from
surrounding countries. Since the Land was at that time under Turkish Moslem
rule, Arabs throughout the Middle East had unrestricted access to Palestine. By
1918 the Arab population increased to 560,000.32 In spite
of restrictions on Jewish immigration, Jews and Arabs continued to pour into
the Land until the birth of the State of Israel in 1948. Clearly, Jewish
financial investments and immigration—together with laborious cultivation of
the land—had put the Land of Israel on the economic map.
Conquest or Desolation?
What conclusions can be drawn from the
foregoing overview of history? The Jews lived in the Land of Israel for seventeen
hundred years virtually uninterrupted until the Roman destruction of its
national polity in A.D. 70. At this point, Israel's population of over two and
one-half million was abruptly decimated by massive slaughter and expulsion. But
as late as A.D. 617, Jews controlled Jerusalem and a large portion of the Land.
After that time, even though Arabs conquered the Land, they were only a
minority. Then through the centuries of Christian Crusader rule and the
Mameluke period, the Land was still dominated by Jewish culture and customs
until A.D. 1400 even though the Arabs eventually became a small majority.
Because the Prophet Jeremiah had forecasted that during the Second Dispersion
the Holy Land would be forgotten and desolate, the Land especially during the
Turkish rule drifted into relative obscurity. . .the backwaters of Syria. Thus,
for centuries the total combined populations of Moslems, Christians and Jews
was less than 200,000. Compared, therefore, with the Jewish population peak of
over a couple million, the Land did become relatively "desolate of man and
beast" as the Prophet predicted.
1,700 years to Roman destruction of Jerusalem, AD
Jewish national entity with judicial system,
commerce, etc., majority of time. Population of 2½ million
AD 70 - 135
Rome began its attempt to destroy or exile 2½
AD 614 - 617
Jews controlled large parts of the country
AD 640 -1099
Arab conquest, but not majority population
AD 1099 - 1291
AD 1291 - 1517
Non-Arab Moslem Mamelukes' rule
Land drifted into relative obscurity under Turkish
AD 1856 - 1948
Influx of Jewish funds and cultivation of Land
attracting immigration of Jews and Arabs
The Palestinian claim that the Land for
centuries sustained a thriving Palestinian culture is not authorized by the
facts of history. Yet the world community has given this claim a receptive
hearing. PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat in his speech before the U.N. in 1974
declared, "The Jewish invasion began in 1881 . . . Palestine was then a
verdant area, inhabited mainly by an Arab people in the course of building its
life and dynamically enriching its indigenous culture."
What happens when this claim is compared
with the personal observations of the following recognized authorities? In 1738
Thomas Shaw observed a land of "barrenness…. from want of
inhabitants."33 In 1785
Constantine Francois de Volney recorded the population of the three main
cities. Jerusalem had a population of 12,000 to 14,000. Bethlehem had about 600
able-bodied men. Hebron had 800 to 900 men.34 In 1835
Alphonse de Lamartine wrote, "Outside the city of Jerusalem, we saw no
living object, heard no living sound. . .a complete eternal silence reigns in
the town, in the highways, in the country . . . The tomb of a whole
In 1857, the British consul in Palestine,
James Finn, reported, "The country is in a considerable degree empty of
inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of
historic observation is a remarkable confirmation of the Biblical predictions
that during Israel's "double" period of time of punishment and
dispersion, the Lord would cause the Land to become desolate of man and beast
(Jeremiah 33:10; Zechariah 10:12; Jeremiah 16:14-18). No wonder by 1857 it was
just waiting for "a body of population"! In the Lord's providence
this needed body of population—the Jewish people—began to return after 1878 at
the end of their Scriptural period of God's disfavor.
The most popular quote on the desolation of
the Land is from Mark Twain's THE INNOCENTS ABROAD (1867), "Palestine sits
in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered
its fields and fettered its energies….Palestine is desolate and unlovely…. It
is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land."
The records of history confirm the Biblical
predictions that during the Jewish dispersion and "double" of God's
disfavor, the Land of Israel would become desolate awaiting the return of the
Jewish people when its period of disfavor ended in 1878. The records of history
simply do not confirm today's Palestinian claim of Palestinian roots and
culture in a "verdant area" since the Arab rule of the land (A.D. 640-1099).
Syria vs. "Palestine"
The Romans had changed the name of the Land
of Israel to "Palestine." But from A.D. 640 until the 1960s, Arabs
referred to this same Land as "Southern Syria." Arabs only started
calling the Land "Palestine" in the 1960s. Until about the eighteenth
century, the Christian world called this same Land, "The Holy Land."
Thereafter, they used two names: "The Holy Land" and
"Palestine." When the League of Nations in 1922 gave Great Britain
the mandate to prepare Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, the
official name of the Land became "Palestine" and remained so until
the rebirth of the Israeli State in 1948. During this very period, the leaders
of the Arabs in the Land, however, called themselves Southern Syrians and clamored
that the Land become a part of a "Greater Syria." This "Arab
Nation" would include Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan as well as
Palestine. An observation in TIME magazine well articulated how the Palestinian
identity was born so belatedly in the 1960s:37
Meir once argued that there was no such thing as a Palestinian; at the time,
she wasn't entirely wrong. Before Arafat began his proselytizing, most of the
Arabs from the territory of Palestine thought of themselves as members of an
all-embracing Arab nation. It was Arafat who made the intellectual leap to a
definition of the Palestinians as a distinct people; he articulated the cause,
organized for it, fought for it and brought it to the world's attention. . .
.who made the intellectual leap to a definition of the Palestinians as a
distinct people; he articulated the cause, organized for it, fought for it and
brought it to the world's attention. . . .
If there was an Arab Palestinian culture, a
normal population increase over the centuries would have been expected. But
with the exception of a relatively few families, the Arabs had no attachment to
the Land. If Arabs from southern Syria drifted into Palestine for economic reasons,
within a generation or so the cultural tug of Syria or other Arab lands would
pull them back. This factor is why the Arab population average remained low
until the influx of Jewish financial investments and Jewish people in the late
1800s made the Land economically attractive. Then sometime between 1850 and
1918, the Arab population shot up to 560,000. Not to absolve the Jews but to
defend British policy, the not overfriendly British secretary of state for the
colonies, Malcolm MacDonald, declared in the House of Commons (November 24,
1938), "The Arabs cannot say that the Jews are driving them out of the
country. If not a single Jew had come to Palestine after 1918, I believe the
Arab population of Palestine would still have been around 600,000. . ."38
Jewish contributions and Jewish immigration
continued to flow into the Land. The Jews created industry, agriculture,
hospitals—a complete socio-economic infrastructure. As job opportunities
increased, so did Arab immigration. In fact, in 1939 President Roosevelt
observed that "Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly
exceeded the total Jewish immigration during this whole period."39 For one
specific example, in 1934 between 30,000 and 36,000 Arabs from the Hauran
Province in Syria left for "the better life" in Palestine.40
On the other hand, Great Britain's White
Paper of 1939 closed the doors of Jewish immigration to their Land.
Simultaneously, there was a large-scale Arab immigration to the new Land of
opportunity during World War II.41
In 1946 Bartley C. Crum, a United States Government observer, noted that tens
of thousands of Arabs had entered Palestine "because of this better
life—and they were still coming."42
Testimony of Arabs and Christians
Because Arabs until the 1960s spoke of
Palestine as Southern Syria or part of Greater Syria, in 1919 the General
Syrian Congress stated, "We ask that there should be no separation of the
southern part of Syria, known as Palestine."43
In 1939 George Antonius noted the Arab view of Palestine in 1918:44
views about the future of Palestine did not differ from those of his father and
were identical with those held then by the great majority of politically-minded
Arabs. The representative Arab view was substantially that which King Husain
[Grand Sherif of Mecca, the great grandfather of the current King Hussein of
Jordan] had expressed to the British Government. . . in January 1918. In the
Arab view, Palestine was an Arab territory forming an integral part of Syria.
Referring to the same Arab view of Palestine
in 1939, George Antonius spoke of "the whole of the country of that name
[Syria] which is now split up into mandated territories…"45 His
lament was that France's mandate over Syria did not include Palestine which was
under Britain's mandate.
As late as May 1947, Arab representatives
reminded the United Nations in a formal statement, "Palestine is a…part of
the Province of Syria….Politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent
in the sense of forming a separate political entity."46
On May 31, 1956, Ahmed Shukairy had no
hesitation, as current head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in
announcing to the Security Council the observation, "It is common
knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."47
Syrian President Hafez Assad once told PLO leader
do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There
is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there
is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an
integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the
true representatives of the Palestinian people.
Assad stated on March 8, 1974,
"Palestine is a principal part of Southern Syria, and we consider that it
is our right and duty to insist that it be a liberated partner of our Arab
homeland and of Syria."49
In the words of the late military commander
of the PLO as well as member of the PLO Executive Council, Zuhair Muhsin:50
are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We
are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully
underline our Palestinian identity….yes, the existence of a separate
Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a
Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel
The following are significant observations
by Christians of the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s:51
Arabs themselves, who are its inhabitants, cannot be considered but temporary
residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places
of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were
strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that
brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind
them any sign of their passage through it.
Stephen Olin, D.D., L.L.D., called one of
the most noted of American theologians after his extensive travels in the
Middle East wrote of the Arabs in Palestine "…with slight exceptions they
are probably all descendants of the old inhabitants of Syria."52
The most authoritative Arab statement,
however, as to whom the Holy Land belongs is found in the Koran, the Islamic
The fact is that the Koran agrees with the
Bible that God (Allah) made a covenant with the Sons of Israel and assigned the
Holy Land to the Jews (See the Koran, Sura V, "The Table"). The Koran
also describes the Land given to the Jews as "blessed" and foresees a
return of Israel to their Land at the end of days.
These testimonies confirm the Christian
Scriptures that God gave the Land to the Jewish people as an everlasting
possession. The relatively few Arabs who wandered into the Land between A.D.
670-1878 were but temporary dwellers. The truer perspective of history reveals that
the large recent influx of Arabs that paralleled the regathering of Jews has no
historic rootage in the Land.
Verdict of History: Land Rights
Before Jewish immigration and Jewish
investments spawned massive Arab immigration, Arabs were actually leaving
Palestine. Then the flow of traffic reversed. ". . .Palestine changed from
a country of Arab emigration to one of Arab immigration. Arabs from the Hauran
in Syria as well as other neighboring lands poured into Palestine to profit
from the higher standard of living and fresh opportunities provided by the
Zionist pioneers."54 This
phenomenon is confirmed by the Palestine Royal Commission Report which observed
that in the period between the Balfour Declaration and the United Nations
Partition Resolution of 1947, Palestine became a land of Arab immigration.55 As
further documented by Frankenstein, substantial Arab immigration was a recent
early "lovers of Zion" began the stimulation of Arab immigration.
Some writers have come out with the conclusion that in 1942, 75 percent of the
Arab population were either immigrants or descendants of immigrants into
Palestine during the preceding one hundred years, mainly after 1882.
Indeed, the verdict of history does more
than confirm the Prophets. The population of the Land of Israel would be minimal
until the "double" of Israel's disfavor ended in 1878 when the
regathering of the Jewish exiles began (Jeremiah 33:10; Zechariah 9:12 and
Jeremiah 16:14-18). The record of history testifies that the great influx of
Arabs also began after that date.
These facts of history explain why the
United Nations needed to develop a definition that a "Palestinian
Refugee" is any Arab who had been in "Palestine" for only two
This U.N. definition, in fact, is incompatible with the assumption that the
Arab Palestinian roots go back one or two thousand years. The Jews themselves
have dominated the Land called "Palestine" for the past two
millennia. The Jews themselves are as much "Palestinian" as the Arabs
who claim to be Palestinians. If any population has a right to the name
Palestinian (if they wanted it), it would be the Jews whose ancestors had their
Land renamed "Palestine."
Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
Nations Partitioned His Land and the Lord was Angry
"When I bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will
also gather all nations. . .I will plead with them there for my people and for
my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my
land." Joel 3:1,2
With the ending of God's "double"
of disfavor and punishment, God takes issue with the nations responsible for
hounding and scattering "my people." Now during God's regathering of
the Jews by Divine Providence since 1878 to "my Land," He also takes
issue with the nations who have "parted My Land"—His Land. How have
the nations "partitioned" His Land?
World War I was the second significant event
in end-time prophecy regarding the regathering of Israel. Turkey, with an
expansive empire that compassed the Middle East (including Palestine) and North
Africa, fought with Germany and the Central Powers against the Allies. At the
breaking up of the Turkish Empire by the victorious Allies, both Jews and Arabs
requested independent states. The world powers were generous in the extreme to
the Arabs by granting them twenty-two independent Arabs states—encompassing
5,414,000 square miles. The Jews asked for less than one percent of that vast
territory. The Allies agreed to this request (which included both sides of the
Jordan) in the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 San Remo Conference of
World Powers (See Map I).
For imperialistic interests, however, in
1921 Great Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration, lopped off 77 percent of
the Land promised in the Balfour Declaration and set up the Arab Emirate of
Transjordan (See Map II). Then in 1922 the League of Nations gave Great Britain
a Mandate to prepare the remaining 23 percent of Palestine (including Samaria,
Judea, Gaza, Golan Heights and Eastern Jerusalem) for a Jewish National Home.
But under French pressure, in 1923 the Golan Heights was ceded by the British
to the French mandate of Syria.58 They
partitioned His Land and the Lord was angry.
Oil was then discovered in the Arab
countries. Consequently, "oil diplomacy" was instituted. British
foreign policy simply appeased the Arabs. In 1939 the British White Paper
banned further immigration to Palestine. Also, with brutal callousness, the
United Sates and most nations refused to accept the beleaguered Jews of Europe.
Consequently, 6 million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.
How many millions of these hapless victims
would have found a haven in Palestine if Britain had not reneged—with the
silent consent of the other nations of the world—on its own mandate obligations
by banning Jewish immigration? What a heinous, collective crime of history!
Lloyd George, the Prime Minister of Great Britain when the Balfour Declaration
was issued, went on national radio to call the British 1939 White Paper, "an
act of national perfidy which will dishonor the name of Britain."59
This time the nations actually denied the
Jews any of God's Land and the Lord was angry. Finally, the gentile nations,
guilt-ridden after defaulting on their promise since 1922, felt a moral
obligation to grant the Jews an independent state. But, unfortunately, the UN
Partition Plan of 1947 further reduced the size of the new Israeli State (See
Map III). They partitioned "My Land" and the Lord was angry. . .
When Israel became an independent State in
1948, armies from six Arab nations invaded the newborn State. Outnumbered 100
to one, Israel's ragtag army pushed back the invaders and took more of its
rightful Land. Divine Providence was telling the world something about whose
Land it is.
Occupied East Jerusalem
However, the Arab State of Transjordan
captured East Jerusalem, expelled all Jews and destroyed or desecrated all
Jewish holy sites. This is the time when Jerusalem became "occupied
territory." In addition to defying the U.N. Mandate, Transjordan also
occupied the west bank of the River Jordan. No longer limited to being
"Trans" (across) Jordan (the east bank), Transjordan reduced its name
to simply Jordan, now ruling over both the occupied west bank and the original
east bank of Jordan (See Map IV).
But this annexation of the "West
Bank" by Jordan was not recognized by any nation of the world—except Great
Britain and Pakistan. Jordan was even denounced by its Arab allies, Syria,
Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who wanted to expel Jordan from the Arab
It is claimed that 600,000 Arabs fled "temporarily," but temporarily
became permanently when the Arab invaders failed to destroy the new State of
Israel. David Ben-Gurion adamantly argued that the 600,000 figure was a lie.
"The refugee issue is one of the biggest lies, even among our own people…I
have all the figures. From the area of the State of Israel, only 180,000 Arabs
left in 1948. There were 300,000 Arabs altogether in Israel and 120,000
In the 1967 Six Day War, under the threat of
being "pushed into the sea" by Egypt, Syria and Jordan, Israel
actually liberated the "occupied territory" of Jerusalem and granted
free access to Jews, Christians and Moslems to worship at their respective holy
sites. Israel also liberated the "West Bank" and Gaza. How easily
recent history is forgotten. By comparison, Israel's administration, despite
its faults, has been much more humane. The realities of the Jordanian and
Egyptian occupation are conveyed in the following quote from HARSH REALITIES:62
19 years, until 1967, Jordan brutally occupied the renamed "West
Bank" with its 20 UNWRA refugee camps…. And when western Palestinians
rioted in December '55, April '57, April '63, Nov. '66 and April '67, King
Hussein sent in tanks which shelled city streets and machine gunned people at
random, killing hundreds of men, women and children.
Gaza Strip, as it was known for the 19 years of harsh Egyptian occupation, had
8 UNWRA refugee camps in which the Palestinians were forced to live in
overcrowded squalor. Egypt refused to absorb any refugees; kept them stateless,
denied passports, and forbade them to travel or work in Egypt. [On the other
hand, Palestinians were permitted to work in Israel after 1967.]
19 years of brutal occupation of their fellow Arabs, Jordan and Egypt kept
these areas in a deliberate state of economic stagnation and severe
unemployment. Average unemployment in the early Sixties ran between 35-45%, and
refugee unemployment hit a high of 83%. Yet during this entire period, the
world was silent. Only after Israel's seizure of these territories in a
defensive war in 1967, did anyone discover the "legitimate rights and
national aspirations" of the Palestinian Arabs.
a humanitarian viewpoint, their situation improved immeasurably under Israeli
administration. Unemployment hovers around a mere 1% (1989) and per capita
gross income tripled in less than 20 years; infant mortality rates dropped from
the pre-1967 140 per 1,000 to only 30 per 1,000 today—at a time when the rest
of the Arab world is still at 80 per 1,000; 7 Arab colleges and universities
were established under Israel "occupation," where none existed before
1967. Yet it is Israel that is now being attacked.
the Arab countries any true intentions of helping their beleaguered brethren
from western Palestine, they would and could have absorbed them easily 4
decades ago, as the Israelites did of an even greater number of Jewish refugees
from Arab lands. The Palestinian Arabs share the same language, religion and
culture, and for 70% of them, the same countries of origin just 3 generations
before when their grandfathers emigrated for economic reasons to Palestine from
surrounding Arab lands. But the 22 Arab countries, uninterested in aiding in
Palestinian brothers, preferred to use them as a political weapon to wield
against Israel, and the U.N. supported this heartless human manipulation.
the mid-1970's Israel attempted to give the Palestinian Arab refugees in Gaza
new and better housing. The U.N. General Assembly, at the urging of the Arab
states, passed Resolution 32/90 condemning Israel for trying to relocate these
refugees and demanded they be returned "to the camps in which they were
removed." And yet, a senior U.N. official came to Gaza in January 1988
accompanied by 10 TV crews on a fact-finding visit and laid the entire blame
for the situation at Israel's feet. As if the U.N.'s own complicity in the
matter didn't exist!
When the six Arab nations invaded Israel at
Israel's birth, many claim 600,000 Arabs were displaced in that war. What is
not well known is that approximately 800,000 Jews, who were living in those six
Arab nations, had to flee for their lives because of Arab hatred. The solution
to this refugee problem was simple—a fair exchange.
Israel, at a terrible economic cost,
absorbed the 800,000 Jewish refugees But the Arab nations refused to accept
these Arab refugees—their Arab brethren. Rather, they placed them in refugee
camps, which became dark holes of hate and misery, models for propaganda to
turn world opinion against Israel. They succeeded. How well they succeeded….
When Israel inherited Judea and Samaria (the
"West Bank") and Gaza in the 1967 War, Israel also inherited the
Palestinian refugee camps that were administered by a United Nations agency.
Israel wanted to negotiate both the refugee problem and a peace settlement, but
the Arabs refused. One cannot help but agonize for the poor refugee pawns in
this ploy. The deplorable condition of the Palestinian refugees is especially
pitiful because the situation was designed and perpetuated by their own Arab
brothers. No wonder the "intifada" erupted. Many claim the Arab
nations refused to alleviate the refugee problem both in 1948 and in 1967.
Among many who have made this observation is
Col. Richard Henry Meinertzhagen, a British Middle East expert. He asked a
fellow dinner guest at the home of a British diplomat, "Why do not you
Arabs, with all your resources from oil, do something for those wretched
refugees from Palestine?" The Lebanese replied, "Good God, do you
really think we are going to destroy the finest propaganda we possess? It's a
gold mine!" When Meinertzhagen observed that this view was unkind and
immoral, the Lebanese replied, "They are just human rubbish, but a
political gold mine!" In slightly different language referring to the same
attitude about the usefulness of Palestinian refugee camps, Meinertzhagen notes
in his book, "I received identical views from other Arabs."63
The Palestinians who have taken to the
streets, spoiling for trouble, are the new generation-spawned in the refugee
camps. From earliest childhood, they have been taught hate.
The U.N. has now had the audacity to call
Jerusalem and the "West Bank" "occupied territories" only
after Israel regained them in the 1967 War. In 1922 the League of Nations had
recognized the legal, moral and historic right of the Jewish people to a
national homeland in Palestine—including Jerusalem. If the Jews had a right to
Jerusalem recognized by the world community in 1922, that right is still valid
today. But since then, the vast oil reserves were discovered in Arab lands. The
nations are compromising Israel's rights for their own oil interests!
Consequently, today the U.S. administration and the U.N. define East Jerusalem
as "occupied territory." But when Jordan occupied East Jerusalem, it
became "occupied territory." Now, in fact, no part of Jerusalem is
Jerusalem—indivisible—belongs to Israel. The
same logic applies to the "West Bank." Unfortunately, Israel's
government presently is too intimidated by tremendous pressure from the U.S.
and other world powers to insist on its historic right to Judea-Samaria, the
so-called "West Bank."
Partitioned My Land"
What is the Lord's perspective of all of
these events? He is angry at the nations. Whose Land is it that the world
powers are now pressuring Israel to give to the Arabs? During the current
regathering of the Jews to Israel, even before God's Kingdom is set up in
Jerusalem, God refers to Israel as "My people" and their Land as
"My Land" (Ezekiel 38:16; Isaiah 11:11). Because the LORD is angry
with the nations during Israel's regathering, He will bring them down to the
"Valley of Jehoshaphat" (symbolic of the great time of trouble in
Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21), to be punished because of their sins against
Israel (Joel 3:1-2). The first sin is "they have scattered" "My
people" among the nations and then during the regathering, "they
parted [partitioned] My land." To whom does the Land belong? The Arabs?
No! The Land belongs to God and He gave it to the children of Israel. But the
nations have the arrogance to partition God's Land. They took 77 percent of it
away from Israel, "My people," and gave it to the Arabs, and now the
United States and the nations of the world are pressuring Israel to surrender
even more of their God-given Land to the Arabs (See Map inside front cover).
What is God's evaluation of the actions of
Israel in contrast to the actions of all other governments including the Arabs?
What is His respective judgment of each? His intentions are revealed by the
Prophet Jeremiah (30:11):
For I am with thee (Israel) saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make
a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a
full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure and will not leave thee
After the destruction of their governments,
the people of these nations will "seek the Lord of Hosts in
Jerusalem" which will become the capital of God's Kingdom (Zechariah
8:20-23). Instead of converging on Israel and Jerusalem to partition the Land or
take it, the nations will come to Jerusalem to learn of the God of Israel so
that they may walk in His ways. Instead of coming to dissect Israel, they will
come to be taught (Isaiah 2:1-4).
Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
The Biblical Perspective
The road to actual peace between Israel and
the Arabs is full of land mines. Whether or not any kind of peace is actually
attained, the Scriptures indicate that this current "peace process,"
will precipitate another Arab-Israeli war. Bible-believing Christians view the
"peace process" with great prophetic interest. Those who have a short
prophetic time frame expect this peace process will position Israel in the
prophetic setting of Ezekiel 38:11—dwelling "at rest," "without
walls and having neither bars nor gates." Then very soon Gog and his
associates would invade Israel resulting in the destruction of our world order
(Ezekiel 38 & 39). However, the Scriptures indicate another war between
Israel and the Arabs before this drama of Ezekiel's prophecy can unfold.
Therefore, whether or not peace is temporarily attained, this "peace process"
will set in motion a series of events that will precipitate another
Arab-Israeli war….But an Israeli-Arab war need only delay Gog's invasion by a
matter of months.
The Rabin-Arafat agreement is at variance
with God's agenda in our prophetic time as "the day for extending your
[Israel's] boundaries" (Micah 7:11).64 This
peace agreement is intended to actually shrink Israel's boundaries.
Consequently, this agreement will not last. There is only one nation on earth
that has its boundaries decreed in the Bible. That nation is Israel. Israel's
ultimate boundaries are from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River (Genesis
15:18-21). These boundaries will be fully attained in God's Kingdom after this
"time of trouble" or "great tribulation" which terminates
our world or age (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:3, 21-22; Zephaniah 3:8,9). (Since
the following prophetic analysis deals with future prophetic details, these
details are presented in the spirit of dialogue. We will content ourselves here
with identifying the minimum territory Israel will evidently occupy before the
"time of trouble" is over and, incidentally, deal with the
immigration of Russian Jews as this immigration is tied into the "Land
The Israeli-Arab conflict is graphically
portrayed in Psalm 83. A look at a map of the Middle East in Biblical times
will identify the countries involved today. These are the nations that are
saying, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name
of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with
one consent; they are confederate against thee" (vss. 4, 5). This
confederacy, of course, is a reference to the Arab nations. Although this Psalm
is a prayer to God ("Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy
peace…") for the defeat of these nations ("O my God, make them like a
wheel; as the stubble before the wind…")—the actual conclusion of this
conflict is not described. But the Scriptures reveal how this Arab defeat is
The same day Israel is fortifying and
expanding her borders, Micah also describes as a severe time of trouble for the
rest of the earth (Micah 7:11-17, NEW AMERICAN STANDARD):
It will be a day for building your (Israel's) walls. On that day will
your boundary be extended…And the earth will become desolate because of her
inhabitant on account of the fruit of their deeds…Nations will see and be
ashamed of all their might…They will lick the dust like a serpent…They will
come trembling out of their fortresses; To the LORD our God they will come in
What a fitting description of the time of
trouble! Sandwiched in this time-of-trouble setting, the Lord is described (vs.
14) as feeding (Hebrew "ruling"65) Israel
in a territory that includes "Bashan" (the Golan Heights) and
"Gilead." Half the tribe of Manasseh received all of
"Bashan" (Deuteronomy 3:3,4,13) and Golan was part of Bashan (Joshua
21:27) and still is. And Gilead is a part of the East Bank of the Jordan River
(See Map VI). The current "peace process" in the Middle East is
negotiating the status of the Golan Heights and the "West Bank." Can
man negotiate with God on the status of His promises to Israel? If Israel is
forced to temporarily compromise Land for peace, the Scriptures indicate that
before the "time of trouble" is over, Israel will again acquire the
Golan Heights and not only the West Bank—but the East Bank as well.
Immigration from Russia and the U.S.
An immigration of Jews from
"Assyria" and "Egypt" is described by Zechariah that is so
large that it will fill the land of Gilead and Lebanon (Zechariah 10:10,11).
Therefore, Lebanon (at least southern Lebanon as described in the Book of
Joshua) belongs to Israel by Divine Right (Joshua 13:5,6). Israel already
occupies a buffer zone in southern Lebanon. But an immigration from Assyria and
Egypt is prophetically anticipated that will be so numerically great that "place
shall not be found for them." The people will overfill the Land of Gilead
(East Bank) and at a minimum southern Lebanon.
Literal "Assyria" is Iraq. There
are fewer than a thousand Jews in Iraq and Egypt. This number is hardly enough
to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah. "Assyria" must be symbolic. For
example, in Micah 5:5-7, Assyria invades Israel just before Israel becomes a
blesser nation (vs. 7). "Assyria" is repelled. Micah's prophecy is
evidently a parallel account of Gog's invasion (Ezekiel 38,39). It is generally
agreed that Gog and some of his associates mentioned refer to Russia and at
least some of the republics of the former Soviet Union—including the Moslem
republics. Therefore, the massive immigration from a symbolic
"Assyria" may be a reference to the current wave of Jews from Russia
and other former Soviet republics. Also, evidently "Egypt" is
symbolic of the Christian world (Revelation 11:8). Where among the Christian
nations are there so many Jews that could converge on Israel? There are over 5
million Jews in the United States alone.
In another prophecy in Ezekiel, Israel's
ancient exodus from Egypt is identified as a microcosm of the exodus of Jews
from all nations back to Israel at the end of the Christian Age (Ezekiel
20:32-38). God is described as bringing the Jews out of the nations "into
the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of Egypt…"
In this original exodus Israel had to cross
a literal sea and a river in order to enter the Promised Land. The smiting of
the "sea" and the "river" in Zechariah's prophecy (the
Hebrew word here does not mean the Euphrates but merely a river) seems to be
symbolic of removing obstacles that prohibited the Jews from leaving the former
Soviet Union (Zechariah 10:11). The main obstacle was Communism. With the
breakup of Communism, the massive exodus began. Over a half-million have
immigrated to Israel. This continuing immigration of Jews is the largest from
any country in the world (Jeremiah 16:14,15).
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said,
The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of
Egypt; but, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the
land of the north (Russia) and from all the lands whither he had driven them;
and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
Process" Moves Towards War
Isaiah also prophesies the smiting of a
"sea" and a "river" (again-not the Euphrates as some
translations incorrectly read) in connection with a large immigration of Jews
from Assyria to Israel (Isaiah 11:14-16). The preceding verses show that Israel
and Judah are gathered together from the nations (Isaiah 11:10-12). "Ephraim
shall not envy Judah" (vs. 13) parallels Jeremiah's prophecy where the
ten-tribe "house of Israel" (Ephraim) and the two-tribe "house
of Judah" become one in Diaspora and return "together" to the
Promised Land (Jeremiah 3:18).
Once in the Land, any peace agreement will
explode in a two-front war on Israel's southwest and eastern borders.
"They [Israel] shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the
west [Gaza strip on the southwest Mediterranean coast where the Palestinians
now reside]." The Hebrew word for "fly" literally means "a
flying attack from behind." The picture becomes even more vivid since the
Hebrew word for "shoulders," can refer to a maritime coast, "the
side [shoulder] of the sea" (Numbers 34:11). Any Palestinian state or self-rule
on the Gaza Strip will be short-lived. Eventually, Israel by missiles or planes
will fly out into the Mediterranean and attack the Palestinians from behind.
What about the eastern front? "They [Israel] will possess Edom and Moab.
And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them" (Isaiah 11:14, NAS).
These Old Testament nations occupied
territories that are now within the Arab nation of Jordan on the East Bank of
the Jordan River and the Dead Sea (See Map VI). A war in which Israel defeats
Jordan and occupies portions of Jordan (Gilead, Ammon, Moab and Edom) could
spark a wave of worldwide anti-Semitism and precipitate a further mass exodus
(vs. 16) from Russia and the former Soviet Republics, "And there will be a
highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left…"
Gog is spoken of as coming from the
"northern parts" (Ezekiel 38:14,15). While many prophecies speak of a
regathering from all the nations, an emigration "out of the land of the
north" (which seems to be the land of Gog, or the former Soviet Republics)
is particularly emphasized (Jeremiah 16:14,15; 31:7,8; 23:8; 3:18). First, a
small number would return, "one of a city, and two of a family"
(Jeremiah 3:14-18). From 1878 to the fall of Communism in 1990, relatively few
Russian Jews did return. A prophecy in Isaiah contrasts this trickle
immigration ("gathered one by one") with the time when "the
great trumpet shall be blown" and there would be a massive return (Isaiah
27:12,13). What "great trumpet" is this? The Jubilee Trumpet of old
was a signal to return rights that were lost (Leviticus 25). Today the trumpet
blast of human rights brought down Communism and over a half-million Jews fled
to Israel. What will precipitate this even greater immigration wave from
"the north"? The next massive immigration wave from the former Soviet
Republics to Israel might occur after the next Arab-Israeli war as indicated in
Isaiah 11:14-16. Time will reveal if this conclusion is a valid assumption.
The decisive victory over the Palestinians
in Gaza on the west and Moab, Ammon and Edom on the east already considered in
Isaiah are paralleled in Zephaniah (Isaiah 11:14 and Zephaniah 2:2-7). The
setting is during "the day of the Lord's anger" (vs. 2). A complete
defeat of the Philistines in the Gaza area is described. Of course, the literal
Philistines have long since passed off the scene, but they are symbolic of the
Palestinians who now occupy that territory. Ironically, one of the fanciful
claims of the Palestinians is that they are descendants of the Philistines
while simultaneously claiming to be descendants of Abraham. The origin of the
Palestinians is identified by Ezekiel (36:1-7). The Lord is angry with
"the people round about [Arabs]" the Land of Israel who came into the
land and made it a desolation. The Lord will punish these self-styled
Palestinians (see map on inside back cover).† 66
Zephaniah also indicts Moab and Ammon for
all their abuses towards Israel. "I have heard the reproach of Moab and
Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people and magnified themselves against
their [Israel's] border" (Zephaniah 2:8). The Lord spared ancient Moab and
Ammon during Israel's wilderness journey, but not modern Moab and Ammon which
is the Arab nation of Jordan. During the Israeli War of Independence in 1948,
it was Jordan who captured the "West Bank" and the Bible Jerusalem
("magnified themselves against their borders"). It was Jordan who
expelled all Jews from the West Bank and East Jerusalem ("they have
reproached my people"). It was Jordan who occupied Judea and Samaria
(wrongfully calling them the "West Bank") until Israel's victory in
the 1967 War. It was Jordan who destroyed all Jewish holy places in Jerusalem.
Also it was Jordan with the Palestinians who sided with Saddam Hussein during
Desert Storm in the hope he would fulfill his threat to "scorch half of
Israel." Now in the "peace process," King Hussein of Jordan with
dignity and poise knows how to say all the right things and the past is
forgotten. But the Lord has not forgotten. Because of these sins, Moab and
Ammon (parts of modern Jordan) shall become "a perpetual desolation: the
residue of my people [Israel] shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people
[Israel] shall possess them" (Zephaniah 2:9).
Thus the Scriptures forecast that before the
invasion of Gog, Israel will gain more Land and more people. What may
precipitate these two factors would be an Arab-Israeli war which would expand
Israel's borders and simultaneously stimulate world anti-Semitism. Worldwide
anti-Semitism, in turn, would precipitate a greater flood of immigration to the
Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
Remnant, the "Holy Flock,"
Will Be A Blesser Nation
After its decisive victory over the Arabs
(Isaiah 11:14; Zephaniah 2:4-10; Ezekiel 36:7), Israel will dwell in peace and
"unwalled villages" as symbolized in Ezekiel (38:11). At this
juncture, Gog and the nations listed will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38:3-6). Here
we disagree with many of our "born-again" Christian friends. We do
not believe in a so-called "second holocaust"—in which nine-tenths of
the Israelis will be eternally condemned when slain by the forces of Gog and
only a one-tenth holy remnant remain.
Purpose of Gog's Invasion
Is the purpose of Gog's invasion to once and
for all teach Israel a lesson of God's sovereignty? Or is it to teach the
Gentile nations which attack the Land the sovereignty of the God of Israel? The
answer is "Yes" to both questions. But the way God accomplishes this
lesson is different in each case. On Israel's behalf He fights for them as He
did in ancient times, "Then shall the LORD go forth and fight against
those nations as when he fought in the day of battle" (Zechariah 14:1-3)
In their spectacular deliverance the LORD says, "I will bring again the
captivity of Jacob and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel…for I have
poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel…" (Ezekiel 39:25,29). On the
other hand, the way God will sanctity Himself "in the eyes of many
nations" so that "they shall know that I am the LORD" is by
defeating them (Ezekiel 38:23). They will be so dumbstruck by Israel's
extraordinarily outstanding victory, that they will have no choice but to
glorify God. "For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee, though I
make a full end of all nations [governments, not the people] whither I have
scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee…" (Jeremiah 30:11).
Actually, Ezekiel's prophecy does not
indicate how many Jews are killed during Gog's invasion. But great emphasis is
given to the Lord's destruction of the forces of Gog. By contrast is Israel's
prospect, "Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the
whole house of Israel" (Ezekiel 39:25, NAS). A parallel prophecy speaks of
half of Jerusalem being exiled (not destroyed) but the rest of the people would
remain (Zechariah 14:2,3). What becomes of those who went into exile? The
prophet Isaiah shows a further regathering of Jews to Israel after the invasion
of Gog (Isaiah 66:19,20; 60:4-9). The "half" who are taken into exile
during the invasion will return in this post-Gog invasion regathering.
Scepter Over Israel
This concept of the destruction of
nine-tenths is based on the Revised Standard Version's (1952) gross
mistranslation of Ezekiel 20:37 which among several errors implies the
"rod" that Israelis pass under is a shepherd's counting rod. The New
Revised Standard Version has corrected its former mistranslation and shows that
the thought of counting or numbering is not contained in the Hebrew text. The
Hebrew word "shebet" is translated "rod" in the King James
rendering of this text, but it can be translated also "staff" or
"scepter." The thought of counting is not contained in
"shebet" even though "second holocaust" commentators
unfortunately couple it with tithing (Leviticus 27:32,33).
The Hebrew word "shebet" (here
rendered "rod") is often translated "scepter" when the
thought of a reigning king is in the context. Actually the context of Ezekiel
20:37 presents God as reigning over the Jewish people during their regathering
(vs. 34). That is why some Bibles have "scepter" in the margin as an
alternative rendering of "shebet."
In any case, under the Law when every tenth
animal was tithed—given to God (Leviticus 27:32,33) the tenth animal was not to
be inspected and determined better than the rest. Even if the animal was bad,
blemished or defective, it was still the Lord's. This procedure does not fit as
a picture of "Jews of faith" as a tenth part being delivered out of
Gog's invasion as some claim.
Since every tenth animal in the flock or
herd was given to the Lord, what happened to the other nine-tenths? Were they
killed? No. They remained alive as the flock or herd of the shepherd.
Therefore, the nine-tenths of living animals cannot portray the death of
nine-tenths of Israel in Gog's invasion. In fact, nothing in the description of
Gog indicates such a massive destruction of Jewish life. Rather the outcome of
the invasion will be glorious for Israel, "the whole house of Israel"
(Ezekiel 39:25, NAS).
the Holy Remnant Small?
The several Hebrew words translated
"remnant" mean "remainder, descendants, survivors." The
thought of a minority is not implicit in these Hebrew words. The meaning for
"remnant" can refer to either a minority or a majority. When a tenth
part of an ephah (1½ bushels) of flour is given to the priest for a
sin-offering, he only used one handful of the flour as an offering upon the
altar. The leftover flour (still more than a bushel) is referred to as a
"remnant" (Leviticus 5:11-13; 2:3). Here the "remnant"
(Hebrew "yathar") is significantly the larger portion.
Another example in the New Testament of a
remnant being the larger portion is in the Apostle Peter's discourse (Acts
15:14-17). When the Apostle described the "residue of men" who will
seek the Lord in His Kingdom, he quotes from the Old Testament which renders
the phrase, "remnant [Hebrew word "she'eriyth"] of Edom"
(Amos 9:11). In the Hebrew "Edom" means "reddish, Adam or
man." Conversely, "Adam" or "man" means
"reddish." Hence the phrase, "residue of men," in Peter's
discourse refers to the overwhelming majority of the human race who will be on
trial for eternal life in the Kingdom. Since both of these Hebrew words
("yathar" and "she'eriyth") are used in Scripture to refer
to the "remnant of Israel," obviously, the thought of "a
minority" is not inherent in the phrase, "remnant of Israel."
The Prophet Micah (2:12) gives insight as to
the size of the "remnant of Israel" in three different instances:
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the
remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the
flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the
multitude of men.
First, "Jacob" always refers to
natural Israel. Therefore, "O Jacob, all of thee," whom the Lord
assembles or gathers to the Land equals the "remnant of Israel" in
the next phrase. This internal equation demonstrates "remnant" is not
a small 1/10 minority. Second, this "remnant of Israel" is like a
flock of sheep of Bozrah. Bozrah was not only noted for large sheep but for
very large flocks of sheep. Third, this sheepfold is noisy because it is
crowded with men. Therefore the remnant must be a large flock.
The Rotherham translation speaks of this
"remnant" as "sheep in distress." This rendering locates
the context at the time of Gog's invasion when Israel will be surrounded by
enemies. The next verse shows how these sheep of Israel are delivered (Micah
The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up [out], and have
passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass
The Hebrew for "breaker" is the
"one who breaks out or through." Their king will deliver them from
the forces of Gog. Only those who are "feeble" (Hebrew, "bend
the knee"), that is, turn to the Lord in prayers of faith will be
delivered (Zechariah 12:8). Those lacking this faith will be killed (Ezekiel
20:38) and not immediately share in the special blessings of the remnant or
flock that are brought through the trouble safely. But even these lacking faith
who die will come forth from their graves in the general resurrection of the
"unjust" to a fair trial or "judgment" (John 5:28,29 NAS).
Only after their deliverance from Gog's
invasion will the Messiah or Christ reveal himself to Israel by pouring God's
spirit upon them (Zechariah 12:9-14). Those who accept Christ at this time are
described as "all families [of Israel] that remain." Therefore, all
the "remnant of Israel," who are a large flock, shall recognize their
Savior who died for them…and there will be "great mourning"
throughout the Land. But the very next verse shows a wonderful opportunity will
be opened, "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness"
Regathering After Gog's Defeat
Not only is there a pre-Gog invasion
gathering of Jews, but also a post-Gog invasion regathering. This further
regathering after the destruction of Gog is prophesied in Isaiah 66 & 60
and also Ezekiel 36. The Isaiah 66 prophecy parallels the time after Gog's
defeat when the Gentile nations see the Lord's glory through the great
destruction He brings upon them (Isaiah 66:15,16,18 and Ezekiel 39:21). This
prophecy in Isaiah additionally explains that some Gentiles escape "…I
will send those that escape of them unto the nations…and they shall declare my
glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren…out of all
nations…to my holy mountain Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:19,20).
Similarly, the prophecy in Isaiah 60 reveals
that the Gentiles shall see God's glory upon Israel and they come into harmony
with God's Kingdom in Israel, "and the Gentiles shall come to thy
light." After the trouble is over and the Kingdom is set up in Israel,
there is a further regathering, "Thy sons shall come from far" on
"ships" to Israel and "to the Holy One of Israel, because he
hath glorified thee" (Isaiah 60:2-9).
The parallel passages in Ezekiel 36 supply
added details (vss. 23-38). Specifically, vs. 23 focuses on the time after
Gog's defeat, "I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the
heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall
know that I am the LORD God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their
eyes" (Ezekiel 36:23 and Ezekiel 39:21-23, 27). After the heathen nations
see the Lord in the miraculous deliverance of Israel from their invading
forces, a further regathering is expected, "For I will take you from among
the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your
own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be
clean…" (Ezekiel 36:24,25). Significantly, it should be noted that these
Jews gathered after the invasion of Gog are "cleansed with water"
just as those gathered before the invasion are cleansed in the
"fountain…for sin" (Zechariah 13:1). Also, at this time the newly
gathered flock will receive the Holy spirit as did the flock of Israel who was
already in the Land and delivered during Gog's invasion (Zechariah 12:9,10).
The "remnant of Israel" which was
a large flock before Gog's invasion (Micah 2:12) is now increased in size to
include these cleansed Jews regathered after Gog's defeat. "I will
increase them with men like a flock." This combined flock that is now
increased in size is described as a "holy flock" (Ezekiel 36:37,38).
The "second holocaust"
commentators believe all of the Jewish people will return to Israel before
Gog's invasion. But the nine-tenths ratio of judgment on the Jews in the Land
during Gog's invasion becomes meaningless if there are still Jews outside of
Israel who will return (also Isaiah 66:18-20; 60:4-9 and Ezekiel 36:23-28). The
nine-tenths destruction becomes even more pointless since during Gog's
invasion, "half of the city shall go forth into captivity [exile]"
(Zechariah 14:2). These recently exiled Jews will be also part of the grouping
of Jews who return after Gog's invasion is over. They will have the opportunity
to be cleansed, receive the Holy spirit and be part of the "holy
flock" together with those who lived through Gog's invasion.
Both segments of this flock—those that lived
through Gog's invasion and those who are gathered to Israel after Gog's
defeat—accept the Savior, are washed and receive the Holy spirit. Therefore, it
is a "holy flock," a sanctified flock, that is set aside to God's
service, God's destined purpose. For what service is the "holy flock"
Destined Purpose of the "Holy Flock"
This large and cleansed holy flock, the
descendants of Jacob, is the earthly seed of Abraham ("sand which is upon
the sea shore") which will work with the spiritual seed, Christ and his
Church ("stars of the heaven") to bless all the families of the earth
(Genesis 22:16-18; Galatians 3:16, 27-29). All the Land promised from the
Euphrates to the River of Egypt will then belong to these descendants, the
remnant of Jacob (Genesis 13:15,16; 15:18) for Jerusalem will be the capital of
God's Kingdom and the Land of Israel its operational base.
"All Israel shall be saved" then
is not a gross exaggeration on the part of the Apostle Paul (Romans 11:26). How
are they saved? Israel is "saved" by the Deliverer, the Christ, that
comes out of Zion, the Kingdom of God. The Deliverer saves them by turning
"away ungodliness from Jacob." By Christ's death they are saved from
Adamic death and the condemnation of the Mosaic Law. Why are they saved?
"They are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God
are without repentance" (Romans 11:28,29).
Then the fathers of Israel—Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, David, Samuel, Elijah and the rest—will constitute the government of
Israel and will be "princes" on earth, "children" of the
King and of his Bride Psalm 45:10-16). God will restore (by raising from the
dead) their "judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the
beginning" (Isaiah 1:25,26). What will begin as God's Kingdom on earth in
Jerusalem and Israel will eventually extend to the ends of the earth (Isaiah
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [Kingdom]
of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall
be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people
shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the
house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk
in his paths; for out of Zion [the spiritual seed of blessing] shall go forth
the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem [the natural seed of
The whole world—the Arab peoples too—will
come up to worship the God of Jacob in Jerusalem. Peoples of all national
tongues will come to pray to the LORD God of Israel because they will
understand God is blessing Israel (Zechariah 8:3, 21-23):
…Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the LORD
of hosts the holy mountain…O house of Judah and house of Israel; so will I save
you, and ye shall be a blessing; fear not, but let your hands be strong….It
shall yet come to pass that there shall come people and the inhabitants of many
cities,….saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the
LORD of hosts…ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations,
even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with
you: for we have heard that God is with you.
God's own peace process will succeed when
man's has failed. The peace God will give Israel and the whole world will be
all-comprehensive and permanent. All peoples, both Jews and Gentiles, even
Israelis and Arabs who faithfully drink of the "water of life freely"
and who overcome "shall inherit all things" (Revelation 22:17; 21:7).
Peace Process and
An open letter from Christians to Christians
on tenth anniversary of Israel's independence.
- Baruch Goldstein's act is a
chilling reminder that retributive justice can be cruel.
- Moslem head in Palestine.
- "Arafat's actual name
was Abd al-Rahman abd al-Bauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini. He shortened it
to obscure his kinship with the notorious Nazi and ex-Mufti of Jerusalem,
Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini." Howard M. Sachar, A HISTORY OF ISRAEL
(New York: Knopf, 1976).
- Eichmann's deputy gave
eyewitness testimony about Husseini's involvement: "The Mufti was one
of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and
had been a collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the
execution of this plan. He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had
constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures." J.
B. Schechtman, THE MUFTI AND THE FÜHRER: THE RISE AND FALL OF HAJ AMIN
EL-HUSSEINI (New York: T. Yoseloff, 1965).
- James W. Parkes, END OF AN
EXILE: ISRAEL, THE JEWS AND THE GENTILE WORLD. (Marblehead, MA: Micah,
- Edward H. Flanney, THE
ANGUISH OF THE JEWS: 23 CENTURIES OF ANTI-SEMITISM (New York: Macmillan,
1965), p. 31.
- David A.Rausch, A LEGACY OF
HATRED: WHY CHRISTIANS MUST NOT FORGET THE HOLOCAUST (Grand Rapids: Baker
Books, 1990), pp. 20-21.
- Claude Duvernoy,
"Controversy of Zion," JERUSALEM COURIER, Vol. 5, No. 5, p. 3.
- Dennis Prager and Joseph
Telushkin, WHY THE JEWS? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), pp.
- Ibid., p. 95.
- Max I. Dimont, JEWS, GOD AND
HISTORY (New York: Signet, 1962), p. 227.
- Prager and Felushkin, WHY THE
- An alternate application of
the "chief of the nations" would be the U.N.
- There were 5-7 million Jews
in the Land according to "Josephus," quoted in Samuel Katz,
BATTLEGROUND: FACT AND FANTASY IN PALESTINE (New York: Bantam Books,
1973), p.106. According to another source, there were 3 million before A.D.
132-135. Dio Cassius, HISTORY OF THE ROMANS, lxix, 12-14, cited by de
Haas, HISTORY, p. 55; see also pp. 52-56; also Theodor Mommsen, PROVINCES
OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, I, p. 243.
- See also Revelation 11:8.
From God's viewpoint, Christendom too is guilty of Jesus' death.
- Abba Eban, MY PEOPLE (New
York: Behrman House, 1968), p. 323.
- See Introduction, p. 1.
- Barnet Litvinoff, TO THE
HOUSE OF THEIR FATHERS (New York: Frederick Praeger, 1965), p. 114.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA JUDAICA
(Jerusalem: Encyclopedia Judaica, 1973), p. 872.
- Abba Eban, MY PEOPLE, p. 123.
- James Parker, WHOSE LAND? A
HISTORY OF THE PEOPLES OF PALESTINE (Harmondsworth, Great Britain: 1970),
- Erich Kahler cites this
statement from KNOWLEDGE OF CRIMES, p.167, in THE JEWS AMONG THE NATIONS
(New York: F. Ungar, 1967), p. 144.
- Philip A. Hitti, A SHORT
HISTORY OF SYRIA (New York: Macmillan, 1959), p. 170.
- Ibid., p. 622.
- Yahya Armajami, MIDDLE EAST
PAST AND PRESENT (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970), p. 143.
- Arieh L. Avneri, THE CLAIM OF
DISPOSSESSION (New York: Herzl Press, 1982).
- Count Constantine F. Volney,
TRAVELS THROUGH SYRIA AND EGYPT (New York: E. Duyinck & Co., 1798).
- Hitti, HISTORY OF THE ARABS
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 1956).
- Alfred Bonne, THE ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT OF THE NEAR EAST (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.,
- David Ben-Gurion, ISRAEL: A
PERSONAL HISTORY (New York: Herzl Press, 1972) p. 817.
- Sachar, A HISTORY OF ISRAEL.
- Thomas Shaw, TRAVELS AND
OBSERVATIONS (Oxford: Printed at the Theatre, 1738).
- Volney, TRAVELS THROUGH SYRIA
- Alphonse de Lamartine,
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE EAST (Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard,
- British Foreign Office
Documents 78/1294, Pol. No. 36.
- TIME, January 3, 1994.
- Irving Howe and Carl
Gershman, Ed., ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST (New York: Quadrangle
Press, 1972), p. 178.Quadrangle Press, 1972), p. 178.
- "Foreign Relations of
the United States: Diplomatic Papers."
- LEAGUE OF NATIONS
PUBLICATIONS, V.I.A.MANDATES, 1935, 27th Session.
- UNRWA Reviews, Infor. Paper
- Anny Latour, THE RESURRECTION
OF ISRAEL (Cleveland: World, 1968), p. 318.
- Michael Curtis, Ed. THE
PALESTINIANS: PEOPLE, HISTORY, POLITICS (New Brunswick: Transaction Books,
- George Antonius, THE ARAB
AWAKENING: THE STORY OF THE ARAB NATIONAL MOVEMENT (Philadelphia: 1939).
- Howe and Gershman, Ed.,
ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST.
- Ibid., p. 178.
- Kamal Jumblatt, I SPEAK FOR
LEBANON (London: Zed Press, 1982).
- TROUW [Daily Newspaper,
Netherlands], March 31, 1977.
- Felix Bovet, EGYPT,
PALESTINE, PHOENECIA: A VISIT TO SACRED LANDS (London: Hodder &
- Stephen Olin, TRAVELS THROUGH
SYRIA AND EGYPT (New York: Harper & Bros., 1851).
- Elliot Green, JERUSALEM POST,
June 11, 1994, p. 6.
- Howe and Gershman, Ed.,
ISRAEL, THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST, p. 178.
- "London: His Majesty's
Stationary Office," Chapter 10, 1937.
- Ernst Frankenstein, JUSTICE
FOR MY PEOPLE (London: Nicholson & Watson, ), p. 130.
- Joan Peters, TIME IMMEMORIAL
(New York: Harper & Rowe, 1984), p. 4.
- Martin Gilbert, ARAB-ISRAELI
CONFLICT, (London: Weidenfeld & Nocolson, 1992), p. 8.
- Latour, THE RESURRECTION OF
ISRAEL, p. 203.
- Yedelya Atland, HARSH
REALITIES (Jerusalem: C. M. Israel Group Ltd., 1989), p. 19.
- Howe and Gershman, ISRAEL,
THE ARABS AND THE MIDDLE EAST, p. 207.
- Atland, HARSH REALITIES, pp.
- MIDDLE EAST DIARY: 1917-1956
(London, Cresset Press).
- NEW AMERICAN STANDARD (NAS),
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV).
- THE STRONG'S EXHAUSTIVE
CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE, #7462.
- That punishment was already
noted in Isaiah 11:13 and Zephaniah 2:3-7.