Thursday, May 14, 2015

Celebrating Israel’s Birthday

We join in recognizing and celebrating Israel’s birthday. We joy in it because it further validates God’s prophecies. How else can one explain a tiny ethnic group that has survived all these millennia under the worst of circumstances? Israel, after almost 2000 years, was established as a nation officially on May 14, 1948. Astonishingly, this event occurred after decades of planning and false starts – living under the British Mandate of 1922. Indeed, at the very announcement of its establishment, the very next day, Israel was attacked on all sides by the Arabs. The invading armies Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and expeditionary forces from Iraq, all attacking the infant nation with little defense equipment.

It is said of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798, “while on his Palestinian campaign, asked one of his generals, ‘Can you give me proof that the Bible is the Word of God?” He replied, “Your Majesty, the Jew. Against all historical precedence, he has survived centuries of dispersion and yet has remained a distinct people – a nation in exile - though scattered over the entire world and terribly persecuted, just as the Hebrew prophets predicted he would be, patiently waiting for his promised return to the land of his fathers.” (quoted from Hal Lindsey, The everlasting Hatred: The roots of Jihad, p. 13)

Whose land is it? The Old Testament calls Israel the “land of promise,” and “the land I gave to you” (Ge. 35:12; Exos. 6:8; Ezek. 47:14). The promise goes way back to Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3). The promise was given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) and their seed after them as an everlasting possession (Gen. 17:8; 48:4). The New Testament affirms the promise in Hebrews 11:9:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Heb 11:8-10)

And Paul, talking to the Hebrews in dispersion in the Roman Church confirms the title deed with physical Israel in chapter 11.

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel UNTIL the fullness [full number] of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer [The Messiah Jesus] will come out of Zion [in the Second Coming], And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” 28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are IRREVOCABLE. (Rom 11:25-29)

These promises are based upon specific conventional promises (Gen. 15) and extensive prophetic utterance by the prophets of the Lord. Notice what the prophet Ezekiel proclaims:

"Therefore say to the house of Israel,`Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 "And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 "I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 "And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. (Eze 36:22-30)

These promises are made and will come to pass “for My [God’s] holy name.” It is spectacular how God has preserved Israel through the generations. When Roman troops sacked Jerusalem in 70 AD, and finished the Jewish presence in the land in 132 there were only an estimated 15,000 Jews left in the land. Emperor Hadrian banished the Jews, renamed the land of Judah, Palestine and Jerusalem was renamed Aelis Capitina.

What a testimony, although God’s holy city, Jerusalem is not under Jewish control, her name is again Jerusalem. The most powerful of the world cannot rename God’s holy land. One day, Israel will be regathered back to the land and live in safety and peace – all Israel will be saved!

To read more see Dr. Couch’s books:
America, the Nations, and Israel
The Birth of the Nation Israel
For the Cause of Zion
The Coming Kingdom Reign of Christ

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The New Christian Zionism Movement

According to Christian Post Reporter Napp Nazworth, in the April 25, 2015 article, “New Christian Zionists Seek Distance From ‘Wild, Crazy Popular Apocalypticism,’” Craig Blasing is quoted as saying, “We need to recognize that there is a dispensational element that is not wild, crazy popular apocalypticism.” This is according to this group of Christian Zionists that gathered for a conference in Washington, D.C. called, “People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Christian Zionism,” Blasing says, “Dispensationalists are still associated with the old version of dispensationalism. We do need to recognize that there is a dispensational element that is not wild, crazy popular apocalypticism.” What does he mean by this “older version of dispensationalism?” He means the teaching of the likes of: C.I. Scofield, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, J. Vernon McGee, Hal Lindsey, Mal Couch, Tommy Ice, Tim LaHaye, and yes, even Michele Bachmann!

I  would like to know what the “new dispensalationalists,” the progressive dispensationalists, teach differently concerning the Rapture of the Church and the earthly Messianic kingdom in the land of Israel. If the doctrine of imminency (the rapture could happen at any moment) is wild and crazy apocalyticism? What does this group believe about the rapture? Are the progressive dispensationalists moving further away from the “older dispensationalists?” 

It is one thing to call these great teachers, “wild, crazy popular apocalyticism,” and another to take over Christian Zionism. Napp reports, “The conference speakers did not take a single position on what their theology means for the current state of Israel. At least one speaker said that supporting a two-state solution for the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict would not necessarily be inconsistent with his theology. Another speaker said he makes a distinction between the current state of Israel and the ‘covenanted people of Israel.’"

It seems this “new Christian Zionism” has come to same conclusion as that of the Christian Palistianism movement – Israel has no specific right to the land of Israel! It seems this group has simply tried to be politically correct when it comes to the modern state of Israel and is trying to redefine what it means to be a Zionist and especially, a Christian Zionist! 

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