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Israel: Spiritual or Literal


“The European cuckoo bird is known as a “brood parasite.” The female lays her eggs in the nests of other smaller birds, like the reed warbler. In turn, they unwittingly incubate, feed, and raise the young impostors-usually at the expense of their own genuine offspring.”

A somewhat strange introduction, but an interesting message.

Quote,

The devil has successfully planted a dangerous lie in Christian theology, and it has been unwittingly hatched, adopted, and nurtured by most evangelical churches. Today, millions of people who are interested in Bible prophecy have their eyes fixed upon Jerusalem. Christians are constantly speculating about the modern state of Israel, a rebuilt Jewish temple, and a Middle East Armageddon. These subjects are being discussed in magazines, on videos, in books, on the radio, from the pulpit, in seminaries, on the Internet, and at Bible prophecy conferences.

It is amazing how many Christians automatically connect end-time Bible prophecies with the nation of Israel. For example, best-selling author (*the late) Dave Hunt echoes these views on the back cover of his popular book, A Cup of Trembling. He writes: “Fast-moving events in the Middle East point almost daily toward the grand finale-the time of greatest suffering for the Jewish people worldwide, which will climax in the terrifying battle of Armageddon and the glorious return of Messiah to rescue Israel and reign over the world from David’s reestablished throne in Jerusalem.”

This “Middle East” approach to prophecy became popular among mainline churches in the ’80s with a series of books from the pen of Hal Lindsey. In his bestsellers The Late Great Planet Earth and Countdown to Armageddon, Mr. Lindsey employed this dispensational approach to prophecy, making several very specific predictions. The secret rapture of the church would occur in 1981, followed by the building of a new Jewish temple, the advent of the Antichrist, the great tribulation, the invasion of Israel, the battle of Armageddon, and the beginning of the millennium by 1988. In spite of the fact that all of these predictions fell flat, his books continue to sell. Worse still, the seeds of error they contain have sprouted and become firmly rooted in many churches.

While there are differences of opinion among evangelicals, the majority agree on the following five events as core prophecies:

  • The rebirth of the state of Israel in 1948.
  • A soon-coming “Seven-Year Period of Great Tribulation.”
  • The rebuilding of the Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
  • The rise of the Antichrist during the tribulation, who will enter that temple and proclaim that he is God.
  • A final war against the nation of Israel, which will result in a Middle East battle of Armageddon.

It Has Happened Before

Here is the big question. Are all of these end-time prophecies in Scripture regarding Israel and the temple speaking only of the literal nation of Jews and a physical building, or is there a deeper spiritual application?

Remember, when Jesus came the first time His own people misunderstood and misapplied the prophecies regarding His kingdom. They were eagerly waiting and watching for Him to establish a literal earthly kingdom. Jesus constantly tried to explain that His first coming was to establish a spiritual kingdom. He said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:2021.

But because the persistent and popular teachings of the day focused on a muscular Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and seat himself on David’s throne, the disciples brushed aside Jesus’ comments regarding His spiritual kingdom. They tried to make the spiritual prophecies literal, and their expectations were crushed by the cross. They lamented, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:21, NKJV. Even after His resurrection, the disciples were still clinging to these popular views and hoping for an imminent, literal kingdom. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6.

Is it possible that the church at large is making the same mistake today by misapplying prophecies regarding spiritual Israel and the temple and by trying to interpret them in a literal sense? If so, they could be preparing to embrace a diabolical deception-not to mention experience a devastating disappointment.

The Name “Israel”

It is impossible to clearly understand the subject of Israel apart from a careful study of the Old Testament. The first time the name “Israel” appears in Scripture was when it was spoken to Jacob after his long night of wrestling with a powerful opponent. The heavenly stranger finally said, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”Genesis 32:28, emphasis added. Thus the name “Israel” was at first a name of heavenly origin applying to Jacob alone. It represented his spiritual victory over sin, through wrestling in prayer and claiming God’s grace.

Jacob had 12 sons who later moved into Egypt. The descendants of these sons eventually multiplied into the 12 tribes that were forced into slavery by the Egyptians until the time of Moses. Then God told Pharaoh through Moses, “Israel is my son, even my firstborn. … Let my son go.”Exodus 4:2223. Note that here the name “Israel” is expanded to include Jacob’s descendants. Therefore, the name “Israel” first applied to a victorious man, then to his people. We shall soon see why this is a very important point.

Israel, God’s Son

About 800 B.C., the Lord spoke through the prophet Hosea, saying, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” Hosea 11:1. Yet by this time the nation of Israel had failed to live up to the spiritual meaning of its own name. This verse in Hosea will explode with tremendous importance in just a moment, when we look at the New Testament.

Approximately 800 years after Hosea’s prophecy, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king.” Matthew 2:1. Because Herod was threatened by this new child king, he sent soldiers who “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem.” Verse 16. Joseph was warned of the impending crisis in advance. “The angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word.” Verse 13. So the holy family arose and “departed into Egypt.” Verse 14.

Matthew writes that little Jesus remained in Egypt “until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Verse 15. Notice that Matthew is quoting Hosea 11:1, which originally referred to the nation of Israel coming out of Egypt, yet now he declares it “fulfilled” in Jesus Christ! Here Matthew is beginning to reveal a truly shocking principle that he develops throughout his Gospel.

For example, one time after healing a group of people, Jesus modestly “charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Greek for Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.” Matthew 12:16-19, emphasis added. Here the Gospel writer is quoting Isaiah 42:1-3, a passage that originally applied to “Israel, … my servant.” Isaiah 41:8, emphasis added. But Matthew again tells us it is “fulfilled” in Jesus Christ!

The apostle Paul also followed the principle of applying statements originally made about the nation of Israel to Jesus Christ. God called Israel “my firstborn” in Exodus 4:22. Yet Paul said it was Jesus Christ who is “the firstborn of every creature.” Colossians 1:15.

The clearest example of them all is where God called Israel “the seed of Abraham.” Isaiah 41:8. Yet Paul later wrote that Abraham’s seed does not refer to “many,” but to “one, … which is Christ.” Galatians 3:16, emphasis added. Thus we discover that over and over in the New Testament, statements that originally applied to the nation of Israel are applied to Jesus Christ. The Messiah is now “the seed.” Therefore Jesus is the very essence of Israel! This is an explosive truth.

A very careful study of the first book of the New Testament reveals that Christ actually repeated the history of ancient Israel, point by point, and overcame where they had failed. Notice the following amazing parallels between the history of ancient Israel and of Jesus Christ:

  • In the Old Testament, a young man named Joseph had dreams and went into Egypt to preserve his family alive (Genesis 45:5). In the New Testament we find another Joseph, who likewise had dreams and then went to Egypt to preserve his family (Matthew 2:13).
  • When the young nation of Israel came out of Egypt, God called that nation “my son” in Exodus 4:22. When the baby Jesus came out of Egypt, God said, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Matthew 2:15.
  • When Israel left Egypt, the people went through the Red Sea. The apostle Paul says they were “baptized unto Moses … in the sea.” 1 Corinthians 10:2. Jesus was also baptized “to fulfill all righteousness,” and immediately afterward God proclaimed Him, “my beloved Son” (Matthew 3:15-17).
  • After the Israelites went through the Red Sea, they spent 40 years in the wilderness. Immediately after His baptism, Jesus was “led up of the Spirit into the wilderness” for 40 days (Matthew 4:12).
  • At the end of their 40-year wilderness wandering, Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy. At the end of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, He resisted Satan’s temptations by quoting three Scriptures-all from Deuteronomy!
  • In Psalm 80:8, God calls Israel a “vine” that He brought “out of Egypt.” Yet Jesus later declared, “I am the true vine.” John 15:1. In the Old Testament, the name “Israel” first applied to one man, to Jacob. It represented Jacob’s spiritual victory over sin. Even so, in the beginning of the New Testament we discover that Jesus Christ is the new Israel who came “out of Egypt.” He is the one victorious Man who overcame all sin!

A New Nation

Remember that the name “Israel” not only referred to Jacob, but also to his descendants, who became Israel. The same principle is seen in the New Testament.

For example, the Lord had told the ancient Israelites, “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:6. In the New Testament, Peter applies these exact words to the church: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” 1 Peter 2:9.

Likewise, right after Paul’s statement in Galatians chapter 3 about Jesus being “the seed,” he then told his Gentile converts: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. Thus in the New Testament, the name Israel not only applies to Jesus Christ, but also to those who are born in Christ-His church. In other words, all true Christians are now God’s spiritual Israel.

According to the New Testament, there are now two Israels. One group is composed of literal Israelites “according to the flesh” (Romans 9:34). The other is “spiritual Israel,” composed of Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” Romans 9:6. That is, not all are part of God’s spiritual Israel who are of the literal nation of Israel. Paul continued, “That is, They which are the children of the flesh [physical descendants of Abraham], these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”Romans 9:8. The children of the flesh are only natural descendants of Abraham, but the children of the promise are counted as the true seed. Today any person-Jew or Gentile-can become a part of this spiritual nation of Israel through faith in Jesus Christ.

How does all of this apply to prophecy? The greatest book about prophecy, the book of Revelation, talks about Mount Zion, Israel, Jerusalem, the temple, the Euphrates, Babylon, and Armageddon. Thus it is clear that Revelation uses the terminology of the Middle East in its prophecies. Yet what is happening right now is that sincere Christians are automatically applying these prophecies to literal places in the Middle East and to the modern nation of Israel. Yet once we grasp the New Testament principles, we should be able to see that there is “something wrong with this picture.”  

 The truth is that Revelation centers around Jesus Christ and God’s Israel in the Spirit, not the Israel of the flesh.

Source

 

5 comments on “Israel: Spiritual or Literal

  1. Yes to the questions. There is a literal Israel and a Blood washed and redeemed Spiritual Israel and whatever we sow we reap literally and spiritually!

    Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

    Lately, over the past several months and most likely the thought was sparked by reading something in here, PJ, I’ve been waiting for the shock and awe to happen in “literal” Israel as we read about happening in historical Israel from the days of Jacob until 70 AD when Jerusalem experienced a shock and awe experience like Bagdad, Iraq.

    As yet none of the local, national or international “Israeli” press has reported an Angel killing 185,000 people in one night as we read about happening in the days of Isaiah. Why is that?

    Or, why hasn’t the press reported about widows being sustained by the Word of the Prophets Elijah or Elisha as we read about when God was working through them in their day and time in the Old Testament era?

    I’m still waiting for Prophets like Samuel or Oded or Nathan or or or any numbers of these quality Holy men Prophets to rise up and guide literal Israel as we learn about studying the Scriptures! No, nare a word from the Israeli press about such colorful and exciting Prophets or events happening in Israel these days. Why is that?

    Well the Bible does have an answer.

    I propose these Words give us the answer, the reason why that work is finished:

    Hebrews 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
    2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
    3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
    4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

    Now quite literally the inheritance, the life fully lived for God in His “Promised Land” during our lifetime on earth is Jesus Christ Himself! He’s the prize! He’s the goal! He’s the Promised Land, He’s the inheritance we inherit!

    Here, read this:

    Hebrews 10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

    “THE SHADOW OF THE GOOD THINGS TO COME!”

    He’s come! He’s come! And he’s coming again! He’s coming again to bring God’s wrath upon lawlessness to be sure.

    But He’s also coming to claim His Inheritance too, literally:

    Hebrews 9:24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
    25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
    26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
    27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
    28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

    Now literal Israel can stop being THE SHADOW!!! They can literally be Spiritual Israel too, not by might nor by power but by the same Holy Spirit you, me, everybody who calls upon the name of The Lord.

    Whatever we sow we reap! If we sow shadows we reap them!

    One final point, about the opening of the article, I’d like to make.

    I think it is unfair to attribute so much power and ability to Satan. He is right in the middle of all this, to be sure, but this working of Satan is by permission only and prescribed! There is absolutely nothing Satan can do to you, me or any Israeli by his own will! His work is controlled by the Will and Word of God.

    He was known as the god of this world. But now he’s just a phantom and a pest that is necessary to bring about Godly disciplinary change in our lives. Now if we can literalize these “shadow” Words from Isaiah 14 we might stop blaming the devil and accept that he too is weak and beggarly, to be regarded to be sure for the fierceness with which he is allowed to destroy, but only according to the Word and Will of Our Heavenly Father:

    Isaiah 14:16 Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
    17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’

    1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
    11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    • Thank you Michael, excellent comment! What caught my attention in this message, besides a few of the scriptures the author’s posted which confirmed the fulfillment of many of the events/things so many are still looking for, (a few, i had never noticed before!), was the observation below,

      Here is the big question. Are all of these end-time prophecies in Scripture regarding Israel and the temple speaking only of the literal nation of Jews and a physical building, or is there a deeper spiritual application?

      Remember, when Jesus came the first time His own people misunderstood and misapplied the prophecies regarding His kingdom. They were eagerly waiting and watching for Him to establish a literal earthly kingdom. Jesus constantly tried to explain that His first coming was to establish a spiritual kingdom. He said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20, 21.

      But because the persistent and popular teachings of the day focused on a Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and seat himself on David’s throne, the disciples brushed aside Jesus’ comments regarding His spiritual kingdom. They tried to make the spiritual prophecies literal, and their expectations were crushed by the cross. They lamented, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:21, NKJV. Even after His resurrection, the disciples were still clinging to these popular views and hoping for an imminent, literal kingdom. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6.

      Is it possible that the church at large is making the same mistake today by misapplying prophecies regarding spiritual Israel and the temple and by trying to interpret them in a literal sense? If so, they could be preparing to embrace a diabolical deception-not to mention experience a devastating disappointment.

      This is something i’ve also thought long and hard about–especially recently. Has the church in the west (or at least a huge part of it) in their demanding of a literal-only reading/interpretation of God’s word, especially prophecy concerning the end days and Jesus’ return, making the same mistake made by the majority of Jews at His first coming? I believe they have.

      And i do believe this is a deception by satan. While so many Christians are preoccupied with studying some fictionalized fulfillment of prophecy concerning rebirth of the state of Israel in 1948, (one well known prophecy teacher just recently sent out a teaching on how todays Israeli army is a biblical “sign”! – see: The Sign of the Israeli Military: Operation Thunderbolt by Dr. David R. Reagan), looking for a rebuilt temple and speculating on when and “how” it will be built, looking for an antichrist, and preparing for a 7 year tribulation, they are neglecting what we, the church, are suppose to be about: the spreading of the gospel, the being ‘light and salt’ in a dark world, and preparing THEMSELVES SPIRITUALLY for the coming of our Lord!

      These things (for many) have become a distraction.

  2. PJ

    My point about the lack of prophets like we see in both the Old and New Testaments goes for today too.

    We both know the Scriptures. In an age where many things are posted on the internet, why don’t we see the Spirit display His miracles and signs and wonders like the Scriptures demonstrate? Where is the prophetic Word that had a portend? I believe God is as powerful today as when each event historically occurred as recorded in the Scriptures. I have shared some of what I have personally experienced firsthand in these posts in the past.

    And as for what you wrote: “And I do believe this is a deception by satan…”. It is only because God allows it.

    What we are seeing these days are days of stronger and stronger delusion. Make no mistake about this. As there were 7,000 Prophets who God kept from the spirit behind Baal, so there are many men, women and children full of the Holy Spirit who are not deluded. These are those who have received the Spirit of power, love and a sound reasoning mind able to discern deception because we are guided by the Truth. No lie or deceit of Satan or one of his agents will be able to overcome us! By the Faith once delivered to the Saints we will overcome the world and the god of her delusions.

    That then begs the question, “why do we see so much happening around the world about Israel and her literal enemies”? Why it was just announced today Saudi Arabia is or has just given Lebanon 3 billion dollars in the form of a grant. Why would they do that? Why is Hezbollah so strong and able to sustain such aggression against Israel today? Where is the PEACE the Scriptures speak about? Why are so many “Christians” suffering as much as they are around the world? What spirit is behind Islam and why does the Qu’ran read the way it does to kill infidels and Jews?

    All these things point to a greater issue at play.

    It is my belief what is causing such aggressive behavior against Christians and Jews is the unseen forces of Righteous indignation by none other than The Lord Himself as He fulfills this prophecy:

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
    23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
    24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
    25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
    26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

    And the way I believe it will be accomplished is by the prayers of the Saints being answered so that suddenly Christ will appear as a thief in the night and this world will then be no more!

    Consider these verses and what they imply?

    One set of verses from Matthew 9, another from 2 Peter 3 and finally from the book of the Revelation 5&8:

    Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.
    36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
    37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
    38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

    2Peter 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
    12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

    Finally Revelation 5:7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
    8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

    Revelation 8:1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
    2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
    3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,
    4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.
    5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings,[fn] flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

    There are many hurting harassed and helpless souls dwelling in ALL countries that we need to ask The Lord of the Harvest to send laborers to!

    This sort of prayer I believe is what Peter means when he writes we are to HASTEN the return of The Lord.

    This sort of prayer I believe is the prayers of the Saints Our Heavenly Father means us to be praying, not the sorts of prayers that fall on deaf ears in Heaven, but prayers the eighth Angel then mixes with the fire of the altar in Heaven that is in front of God’s Throne!

    Like I said, whatever we sow we reap! If we sow to prop up the shadow, the shadow is what we reap. And this shadow, though a shadow, it literally manifests itself quite literally in the fashion of billions of dollars granted to Israel’s sworn enemies and billions of dollars to the government of present day Israel so they can exercise military might and power against their enemies all the while their prophets, if there are any are missing these Words:

    Psalm 33:16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
    17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
    18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
    19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
    20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

    • My point about the lack of prophets like we see in both the Old and New Testaments goes for today too.

      We both know the Scriptures. In an age where many things are posted on the internet, why don’t we see the Spirit display His miracles and signs and wonders like the Scriptures demonstrate? Where is the prophetic Word that had a portend? I believe God is as powerful today as when each event historically occurred as recorded in the Scriptures. I have shared some of what I have personally experienced firsthand in these posts in the past.

      Michael, i believe we are in the midst of a season of famine. At least so within American Christianity. I cannot speak for any other Nation or the different parts of the Church within other Nations. But in America, i believe we are suffering a spiritual famine.

      Spiritual famine: A state of spiritual hunger arising from a failure to experience the presence and joy of God

      A season when;

      God’s word is withheld Am 8:11-12 See also 1Sa 3:1; Ps 74:9; La 2:9; Eze 7:26; Lk 23:8-9

      God’s Spirit is withheld Ps 51:11 See also Ps 107:33-34

      Causes of spiritual famine;

      Sin – Isa 59:2

      Unbelief – Ac 13:46 See also Ac 28:25-28

      Worldliness – Isa 55:2

      False beliefs – Isa 8:19-22

      Self-satisfaction – Rev 3:17 It is possible to be well-fed physically but famished spiritually.

      God testing his servants – Job 23:3,8-10

      The Consequences of spiritual famine;

      Spiritual weakness – Ps 119:81 See also Ps 84:2

      Loss of hope and joy – Joel 1:16 See also Ps 51:12

      source Bible Gateway

      And as for what you wrote: “And I do believe this is a deception by satan…”. It is only because God allows it.

      And we must warn of it. Those who ‘see’ the deception have an obligation to point it out and warn others. Just as we find in many of the letters within God’s word written by the apostles who were under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. God also ‘allowed’ false teachers, prophets, and doctrines to infiltrate the early church…how do we know that, because we read the warnings; one example can be found within the letters from Paul to Timothy; 1 Timothy 1:3-11; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:14-19

      That then begs the question, “why do we see so much happening around the world about Israel and her literal enemies”? Why it was just announced today Saudi Arabia is or has just given Lebanon 3 billion dollars in the form of a grant. Why would they do that? Why is Hezbollah so strong and able to sustain such aggression against Israel today? Where is the PEACE the Scriptures speak about? Why are so many “Christians” suffering as much as they are around the world? What spirit is behind Islam and why does the Qu’ran read the way it does to kill infidels and Jews?

      Michael, i believe the answer to much of this centers around 2 different things; politics and the misconception that Christians are to (theologically) always support modern day Israel… this, based upon many wrongly believing that what transpired in 1948 was “the most significant prophetic event of the 20th century”….one which fulfilled specific old testament prophecies. Which was actually why i posted this message (above) in the first place.

      You’re aware (im sure) that i read a lot on the web. I read at news sites (both secular and Christian news sites), and one thing has become clear to me in the last year. Many Americans (many of them Christians!) have become aware of how America has been a long time (political and financial) supporter of Israel. What has surprised me is that many were not aware of this until recently. What these same people have also become aware of are the many international laws the Israeli government scoffs at or ignores concerning the treatment of non-Jews within Israel and the occupied territories. Many of these people (both Christians and non-Christians) are now seeing there always was 2 sides to this story in the middle east, AND that real-live-people are involved on both sides. This has caused many to question why the US continues to support Israel in light of many of the actions of the Israeli government. It has also caused some Christians to become aware of middle-eastern Christians being caught up in this mess. For this, i rejoice! Why, because many Christians here in the US had never, in the past, considered there were Christians (brethren) being affected.

      Reading, as i do, at a number of news sites outside the US i’ve seen similar reactions from a growing number of people.

      In a way it’s like what we saw during the Vietnam war–here in the States and around the world: as many people protested that war with sit-ins, card-carrying protests, and forming action groups, the same is happening concerning (what many believe to be) the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians and African immigrants, etc.

      So you ask, “why do we see so much happening around the world about Israel and her literal enemies”?, and i’d have to say it’s because Israel has been in the news more and more, concerning the matters above, which is right–for these wrongs should be pointed out and questions do need to be asked, and Israel’s real enemies are taking the opportunity (with the world focused on Israel at this time) to jump into the spotlight as well.

      My concern isn’t the political implications as much as how it has and is, affecting the church–my fellow Christians. How misguided prophecy teachers have convinced many Christians that to stand with God means one MUST always stand with one (particular) secular government and nation: in this case, Israel. And that to fail to do so, puts one’s salvation in question.

      This is a delusion and a lie.

      There are many hurting harassed and helpless souls dwelling in ALL countries that we need to ask The Lord of the Harvest to send laborers to!

      Amen, this is true. And these people need to be “known” about. They can be found on every continent in this world, and in every nation. AND even in parts of the world where they’re not even considered ‘a legitimate people’ by others.

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