While reading Carla’s excellent and always discerning More Books and Things blog I came across an article that I think needs further attention by those who study world events and Bible prophecy. I might not agree with every single point in this article but I certainly agree with Prof. Malan’s major concepts.
Bible prophecy teachers seem to convey that Israel today is in the will of God. Therefore they suggest we better not do anything that could be conveyed as touching the apple of God’s eye. Some even suggest that if we do not bless this largely atheist nation that God will judge our nation. There are some erroneous teachings going around that relate judgments on America to how we treat unrepentant Israel. That concept is wrong. The judgments coming on America today is due to our own sins. We are judged on how we treat all nations not just Israel. If we are a just and moral nation we have nothing to fear. God will judge all the Gentile nations on how they treat Israel after God glorifies His own name in Israel through the supernatural deliverance of Israel in the war of Ezekiel 38 39, the two prophets, and the 144,000 sealed witnesses.
Israel today is still reaping the curse because they rejected God’s salvation in His Son. When God said He would curse those who curse the descendants of Abraham and Jacob He was talking about those cursing the children of the promise, the people of faith. They are the true children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Remember, the leaders of Israel claimed they also were children of Abraham but Jesus called them children of their father the Devil. So did Jesus curse these descendants of Israel? Actually He did. He cursed the unbelieving descendants of Israel as represented by the fig tree that had no fruit when He came (Mt 21:19).
Other Christians will not even evangelize Jews thinking that Jews already know God. They are also wrong. Those who do not accept Jesus Christ do not know the Father either (John 14:6). The nation of Israel will certainly prove that point when they accept the false Messiah that is coming in his own name and not the Father’s name like Jesus. Some of these Christian ministries will raise large sums of money to send Jews back to Israel but spend nothing on giving these Jews the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do not even tell them that two-thirds of the people that they are sending back to Israel will be killed in the coming Jewish holocaust (Zec 13:8).
One might think that if Christians really loved the Jews they should be telling Jews about Jesus so they would get saved before these terrible events happen to them but it is not happening. Not that anyone is actually allowed to preach the gospel in Israel anyway. So what does that say about Israel? Instead we rant about how nations are dealing with Israel as if God is not sovereign and not using the leaders of these nations toward His own ends to bring Israel to repentance. Had not God said that these things would happen to the Jews in the end times?
So how will Christians siding with Israel on world events give them physical peace and spiritual enlightenment? Even if we could change our national policies toward Israel the things God said about Israel in the latter days are still going to happen. The real problem with Israel is not the Gentile nations and our leaders decisions. The real problem with Israel is the unbelief of the Jews in Israel. The Gentiles will just be used to bring Israel to a place of repentance. God would protect Israel if they came to belief in Jesus Christ but instead they will believe in the Antichrist and go into more national tribulation before they finally get the message that peace and security is only found in their Messiah Jesus Christ.
If I did not know that we were in the end times when God’s words about Israel will be fulfilled I would have to believe that the unbelieving Jews now occupying God’s land would again be cast out. Yet, the religious Jews living in Israel think that God is on their side while they reject His Son and the non-religious Jews think that they are going to hold unto the land by their own military might. Sorry, but that is not God’s plan for Israel.
Many Christians by what they say and do, seem to covey similar false pretense as well. Ever wonder why the Jews flee to the mountains for 42 months? Because Satan seeks to kill every Jew in the world (Rev 12:13). That is the real destiny of those in Israel before they come to God’s Messiah. Exactly what world actions and reactions get us to that point is frankly very subjective stuff that even Bible prophecy experts do not agree on. So how do we know where God’s will is on every current event in the Middle East so that we take the correct position? Does our position even matter in God’s plan?
So knowing these things, let’s be telling the truth to Israel and evangelize those that can be reached instead of acting as if Israel’s leaders or America’s leaders will make correct decisions to keep Israel from the holocaust that clearly will come upon Israel in these last days. In the final analysis, it really does not matter one iota if Israel or the US takes out Iran’s nuclear capabilities, at least not if we are in the sequence of end time events like Bible prophecy teachers claim. Iran will invade Israel in the latter years because Ezekiel says so, and the end of that war has already been determined by God.
It really does not matter if Israel agrees to divide Jerusalem in some false peace deal either, because the Bible says it will happen anyway, “Zec 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”
It really does not matter what action Israel takes because whatever action Israel takes in unbelief will lead to the same biblical end that God foretold the prophets and that us Bible prophecy believing Christians should be aware of. The primary Christian commission is to teach the gospel to Israel and everyone else. Our commission is not trying to stop or change Middle East events that have to happen if we are in the last days.
If Christians should learn anything from Bible prophecy it should be to discern how close we are to the Lord’s coming for the watching faithful Church. If Christians use Bible prophecy, it should be to used to evangelize those who might come to know God through Bible prophecy. Bible prophecy for Christians should not be about trying to figure out every insignificant detail and the exact dating of all events beforehand. Some of these things cannot be known with any certainty. Nothing at all has to be fulfilled before the rapture of the Church and after the restrainer is removed all end time events will rapidly come on the earth just as God said. For most Christians it is enough to know that what God said about the last days will take place literally and that the time to work is short.
If you want more thinking on this issue read the full article. Below are a few excerpts.
Jesus Christ in Biblical Prophecies
Prof. Johan Malan, Middelburg, South Africa (June 2009)
The spiritual and doctrinal value of various articles currently published on Israel is extremely poor. Authors mostly offer only a secular review of news events without giving a balanced biblical perspective on them.
It is an alarming fact that even Christian analysts on the situation in the Middle East reveal very little insight into Israel’s end-time position. Obama is now blamed for isolating and forsaking Israel. Is he responsible for these actions or did the Lord ordain them? According to Ezekiel 22:18-22, Jeremiah 30:7 and Zechariah 14:2, the Lord will bring Israel into great affliction because they have, spiritually, become dross in His eyes for dishonouring His Word and rejecting the Messiah. In the light of this situation we should understand their international dispersion during the past 2000 years, as well as the Holocaust of World War II. Or will we merely blame the Roman Empire, the Nazis and other nations for this human tragedy? These nations are definitely guilty, but Israel is more guilty and mainly responsible for their own problems. Didn’t Jesus say that Jerusalem would be destroyed and trodden down because its inhabitants refused to accept Him as their Messiah (cf. Matt. 23:37-38)? In the attached addendum a Messianic Jew, Arthur Katz, explains the full implications of Israel’s sin and lack of faith.
As for Israel’s future, it is really irrelevant what Obama, the pope, the EU, Iran or Russia say or do with regard to Israel. If they don’t persecute or isolate Israel the Lord will allow other groups or nations to do just that. The fact is that the Israelis have to go through the time of Jacob’s trouble because of their continued apostasy.
Why are there so few people who have the boldness to inform Israel on the true reasons for their problems? Why is their own spiritual bankruptcy not addressed? Why are even organisations such as the International Christian Embassy engaged with the establishing of good relations with unsaved Israel without explicitly proclaiming the Messiah to them? Why do preachers such as John Hagee deny Jesus as Messiah of the Jews by alleging that they don’t have to accept Jesus to be saved? Why do all the Christians follow him and merely donate money to Israel, but withhold the gospel from them, which is their only hope?
When will Israel’s fortunes take a turn for the better – when the United States again support and assist them militarily, or when they have accepted the Messiah? Will they ever seek the Messiah unless they are in a great affliction (cf. Hosea 5:15; 6:1-2)?
The less people think and speak about the Lord Jesus, the less they will believe in His promise of a pretribulation rapture (Luke 21:36); the less they know about His judgement seat, the less they will be prepared for His sudden coming (1 Cor. 3:9-15). Many people become so involved with a study of the signs of the times, including possible dates for the second coming of Christ, that they never seriously attend to the necessities of our relationship with Him (holiness), and also neglect to work for Him while it is still day – the night of God’s judgements is approaching when no one can work.
I do believe that Israel and many other signs are prophetically significant, but this knowledge should lead to deeper spiritual insights and particularly to the glorification and exaltation of the Lord Jesus – also to fear for the coming day of His wrath upon sinners, including all the carnal, agnostic and unholy people. His judgements should be considered as part of the bigger picture, lest people think that the nature of the future world will only be determined by the decisions and military actions of the present generation of world leaders. One actually pities them when listening to their decisions and beholding their military manoeuvres, as they don’t have the faintest idea of what is waiting for them. They don’t know that they will be gathered in Israel to be judged by the Lord (Joel 3:2; Zech. 14:2,12).
Israel is prophetically one of the most uninformed nations in the world as far as events at the end of the church dispensation are concerned. Their ignorance will cause their virtual downfall as they will lead the way in concluding a covenant with the Antichrist under the false impression that he is the true Messiah (Dan. 9:27; John 5:43).
People in the end-time are shallow in their thinking and judge all things in terms of secular, humanistic criteria. Even Christians start conforming to this way of thinking and are in most cases not able to correctly determine and describe a spiritual perspective on world events. Many of them do not even realize their own spiritual poverty and blindness,
every Christian is committed to inform Israel on the correct biblical route to their full restoration. If they are not warned against the coming false messiah and the great tribulation, how will they ever be able to correctly understand these times and make the right decisions? Without accepting Jesus the Messiah by faith they cannot be saved – neither can they share in the blessings that He promised to the believing remnant in Israel and also to the whole world during His coming reign of peace.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.