In The News::: The Middle East Crises (march 20, 2002)




The history of man, on the part of most of the people who have dwelt on this planet, is a history of disobedience to the God of Creation. On the part of man, only a minority has submitted to His rule and have been vessels which honor and serve His eternal purposes for man. On God's part, history is the story of God's call of a people to witness of His Person and glory, His love of man, the fall of man and the disastrous consequences it brought to the human race, God's means of redemption, of His active and supernatural involvement in man's history, and of His continuing purpose in the raising up of a family made in His image and after His likeness-to live with and to serve Him. God is the Master Designer, the Creator, and the Upholder of the entire universe. He alone reigns over everything He has made. And in everything He is doing on this earth, His primary means of communicating His will to man has been through His chosen and anointed people and His Only Begotten Son.

God chose a man, Abraham, next his son, of Sarah. From Isaac's offspring, He chose only one of his two sons, gave to Jacob, whom he later called Israel, a large family, and molded that family into a nation. In His sovereignty He delivered that nation from slavery, gave them a beautiful land, and entrusted to them the assignment of handing down the revelations He gave to them concerning Who He is, what He requires of man, how He deals with man, and insights into His purposes in creation for the race He had made.

The chosen people of the nation of Israel have gone through great trials and tribulations, persecutions and defeats, took whippings from heathen nations as a punishment from the Almighty, and experienced barbarism and the shedding of much blood as a fruit of their disobedience. God carried out the threatened punishments upon them because they refused to hearken to Him. The first captivity they experienced was in Babylon.

And I give them up for ill-usage, for trouble to all the kingdoms of the
earth, for a reproach and a proverb, for a taunt and for a curse in all the
places whither I shall drive them. And I send among them the sword,
the famine, and the plague, till they be consumed from off the land that
I gave to them and to their fathers. (Jeremiah 24:9-10)

After seventy years in exile, God allowed captives to return to their homeland. Many chose to stay in Babylon. Persia had conquered Babylon and the Persian king, Cyrus, being sympathetic to the Jews, allowed some of them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple; but it was far inferior to the glory of Solomon's temple. The living conditions of these returning Jews were difficult and they were under the strong influence of pagan neighbors, even mixing with them in marriage. Their land needed rebuilding and they were poor.

A little over a half century later Ezra gained permission from the King of Persia to return to the land of Israel to help the people in their distressed condition. The wall was rebuilt under Nehemiah's leadership and the people gained a measure of self-government, but not much else took place of note among those who were now living on their native land.
Under Persian rule the Jews in Judea were left to govern themselves, and the Jews in Babylon fared well during most of this period. Jewish communities kept in close touch with Judea and sent gifts to help them.

Over a period of approximately fifty years, Persia fought many battles with Athens in an effort to conquer Greece, but failed. When Alexander the Great became King of Macedonia, he moved to bring the lands of the East under his domination. He defeated the Persians and took control of the lands Persia once controlled. When Alexander the Great died, one of the Greek generals, Ptolemy, gained Egypt and Palestine. For another one hundred years, the Ptolemies were kind to the Jews. But when the Selucid kings of Syria won the land of Palestine from the Ptolemies, they were oppressive in their rule.

Antiochus was a tyrannical ruler, and he did not like the Jews and eventually outlawed the Jewish religion. This continued until the rise of the Maccabees in revolt. Wars ensued, some battles were won and some were lost; but in the end the Jews of Judea gained their independence-which lasted for about eighty years.

Next, Rome came into power and once again the people of God were under foreign rule. Under Herod, who became king of Judea, the temple was rebuilt into a magnificent structure. However, the spiritual condition of the people of Israel languished, and when the time had come for the sending of the Messiah, most of the leadership of the people were not minded to receive Him.

Over the intervening years, following the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the people returned to their old ways and again forgot the Lord. Thus when the Son of God came to His own people they rejected Him. Their refusal to receive their Savior hardened their hearts, and eventually their rebellion brought the destruction of their temple, their capital city, Jerusalem, and the punishment and subsequent exile that lasted for nineteen centuries. Knowing all things, and that they would reject their Messiah, the Lord had already declared what He would do to them.

And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries into
desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors. And I
will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies who dwell therein
shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the nations, and
will draw out a sword after you; and your land shall be desolate, and
your cities waste. ….And you shall perish among the nations, and the
land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they who are left of you
shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the
iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them…And yet for
all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away , neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break
My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But I will for
their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought
forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be
their God: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 26:31-2, 38-9, 44-5)

God had repeatedly called for the people of Israel to repent and return and hearken unto Him (Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 3:1,12,22; Hosea 14:1; Amos 4:6-12). Consider what He said to the people through Jeremiah.

I have sent also unto you all My servants, the prophets, rising up early
and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way,
and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and
you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your
fathers; but you have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto Me…
Therefore, thus saith the Lord the God of hosts, the God of Israel,
Behold I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of
Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them, because I
have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto
them, but they have not answered. (Jeremiah 35:15,17)

Now, after nearly nineteen hundred years of exile, God's chosen people, Israel, are again back in the land of their inheritance and they will never again be allowed to be removed from off their land. God said He would not permit them to be driven from their land again happen. He also warned nations not to interfere in what He was doing with this people.

Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all
the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord has taken away thy
judgments, He has cast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the
Lord is in the midst of thee, thou shalt not see evil any more. In that
day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear not; and to Zion, Let not thine
hands be slack. The Lord, thy God, in the midst of thee is mighty; He
will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love. He
will joy over thee with singing. I will gather those who are sorrowful for
the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a
burden. Behold, at that time I will treat with all thine oppressors; and I will
save her that is lame 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 peoples of the earth,
when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.
(Zephaniah 3:14-20)

During the time from the Exodus out of Egypt until the exile to Babylon, the nation of Israel continued to rebel against the Lord, and He punished the people-just as He said He would. He dispersed them among the nations, preserved a remnant, and did bring them back, just as He had promised through Moses and the prophets. Again they departed into rebellion and He had them removed again for a much longer period of time. The testimony of Moses and the prophets declare why He did this to them; also that His purpose was to refine them in the furnace of affliction and make of them a nation that would be to the praise of His glory (Isaiah 48:10).

Zephaniah declares that God would "treat with all (their) oppressors." In the Hebrew, this refers to a "treating in wrath" all "the heathen nations who had subjugated Israel." (From Keil & Delitzsch) God promised to Israel a glorious salvation, one in which the King of glory Himself would be active in their very midst, and (He) would be recognized as being their God and as having defended and preserved them.

Folks, the Lord Himself, now fights for Jerusalem; and although we do not yet see the fullness of the promise of Zephaniah 3, we stand on the tip-toe of expectancy that tremendous battles are on the horizon over the right of occupation of Palestine. We have said that all nations need to be awakened to the great error of challenging the right of Israel to live in all the land given to them by the Creator Himself, and that all who continue to oppose Him in this matter are doomed to destruction.

The history of God's dealing with Israel is to serve as instruction to all sinners to repent of rebellion against Him, and to believe in the identity and lordship of Jesus, that He is the Son of God and the Creator of all things, whether they be in the heavens or in respect of the earth-also, that He is man's only hope of salvation.

The resolution of the conflict in the Middle East between the Arab and the Jew will not be settled by any international entourage, or rage against the right of Israel to occupy their land. No gathering of the political or military might of nations can derail God's purposes for His ancient people, Israel. The blasphemy of wicked sinners of the world against Him, and all the strategy of the arch-enemy of man, the devil and all his evil host, can not begin to compare to the wisdom and might of the Lord of Hosts, the true King of Israel. May He always be praised!

It is made plain in Scripture that God has never given the offspring of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob over to complete annihilation, and He never will! He warned Israel that should their rebellion continue He would punish them severely for their crimes against Him. He also informed them He never would give them up entirely to the hatred of their enemies, but that at the end of the age He would restore them to the land He had given to them to inherit forever.

The rebellious Arabs still hate the Jews and they purpose to use any means they can to remove them entirely from the Middle East. This is the root of the conflict: Ishmael still has a hatred of Isaac, and Satan has a special hatred of the Jews. Only when the Arab and the Jewish peoples, and the nations of the world, are both brought to see that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Messiah of Israel, and the only Savior of man, will the warring cease between them. For at that time He will visibly rule in power and great glory over all the earth, and all nations and peoples and tongues will bow to Him in submission and service.

The U.S.A., in no small measure under the pressure of the Arab community, is again putting pressure on Israel to compromise its posture in ownership of the land of Israel, in order to bring "sanity" to the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews living in Israel. We say this forthrightly, if the United States, as well as all other countries who oppose Israel's right to occupy all of Palestine, do not desist in their opposition to God in this matter, these nations will experience the fires of God's judgment for their opposition to Him in what He has purposed for the offspring of Jacob.

That a major war is coming to the Middle East is certain. God's word declares it shall occur and that Russia will lead an alliance that will come into the Holy Land with the purpose of spoiling that land. These nations will not succeed and will experience a horrific Divine judgment in regard to their armies and within their own lands for this evil undertaking. The time of the end is upon us and God's intervention is promised. The rebellion of man is peaking and will soon necessitate the return of the Lord Jesus to put down rebellion in the earth. His wrath will consume all His enemies, all those who oppose Him, and especially those who would assault Israel and annihilate the Jews from the entire Middle East and form off the face of the earth.

We say to all, Get your own life in order. Get out of debt. Consider that things are going to get very rough. Trying times are ahead. Come to Jesus, if you do not already own Him as your Savior. For these and all Christians, it is vital to move in and claim and be willing to sacrifice of your personal comfort to obtain your full inheritance in Christ. This means live in the full light of what you already know, and stay in the Scriptures, as the counsel and comfort they provide will be your lifeline in Jesus for what is ahead.

This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
(2 Timothy 3:1.)

Behind what Paul writes in this Scripture is modern man's contempt for God and His demands of man. (If you are not familiar with this portion or Scripture we suggest you check out the complete description he gives in verses 1-5. Also, we are running a series of articles on "The Partitioning of God's Land" and recommend you give attention to what is written therein.)

The conflict in the Middle East will not be settled by any ingenuity or contrivance on the part of man. The conflict has deep spiritual roots, is Satanically inspired and driven, and can only be dealt with on the level of casting down the "principalities and powers and the world rulers of the darkness of this world, the wicked spirits in the heavenlies"(Ephesians 6:12), that rule over the nations and peoples of the world. No amount of manpower operating in the strength of human flesh is a match for the deceiver of the nations. The enemy knows that God is committed to saving His people; and that those who openly defy His will that His people occupy the land that He gave to them, will be destroyed. So he entices people to oppose the Jews as a means of destroying those who are so deceived as to listen to his lies, and are so foolish as to challenge the right of God to do as He wills in the armies of the heavens and among the inhabitants of the earth.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper who love thee.
(Psalm 122:6)

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