ISRAEL AND THE
END OF THE AGE
November 4, 2000
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary
- George Orwell
[This is the second in a series of articles dealing with the fighting in the
Middle East; the first article, Part I, dealt with the question of who the REAL
enemy of Israel is in the Middle East. Part II, this article, deals with the
Scriptural basis for Israel in God's "Plan and Purpose in the Ages" - especially
as it relates to the fighting that is currently raging in the Middle East over
the question of Jerusalem. These two parts (i.e., Part I and Part II) form the
basis for all the articles that follow. We urge you, therefore, to study these
articles. If you don't, you will most assuredly lose your way in the articles
that follow them.]
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round
about, ... And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all
people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though
all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zech. 12:2-3)
stated in Part I of this series, "The Real Enemy of Israel, It's Not
Who You Think:"
"What's occurring today in the Middle East is the climax of an "End
Game" that has been going on since 1948. It signals the end of a
long, 2,000-year period of time in which the Church has had history
to itself; re-inserts Israel as a "player" on the world's stage; and
introduces a coming age (i.e., the Millennium and eventually, even Eternity)
in which both Israel and the Church (as separate, distinct, and independent
entities) are destined to hold the stage together. This "End Game"
is now reaching its climax in the fighting over Jerusalem."
And one needs to be very clear about what is occurring: the fighting
between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not something that is being
carried on in a casual or haphazard manner; it is implacable,
extremely barbaric and appears to have no end in sight - and
so much so that David Shipler of the New York Times says that
the conflict resembles a "black hole ... a place so dense in passion
that it emits no light by which (the one side) ... can ... (any longer)
see the other's legitimacy as a people."
In this sense, the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians
is following the direction of all culture wars - the course that Professor
Samuel P. Huntington, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and
Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard
University, described in his book, The Clash of Civilizations.
And just how implacable and barbaric has the fighting been? Albert
and Ruth Nessim, Israeli supporters of Antipas who live in the "Katusha
belt" in Northern Israel, sent us a report by Mark Seager, a young British
photographer, who was working on a pictorial study of Palestinian refugees
when he found himself caught up in the horrific lynching of two Israeli
army reservists in Ramallah. Seager was the only Western journalist
to witness what happened - and he almost lost his life as he tried to
report on it. He gave this account:
"I had arrived in Ramallah at about 10:30 in the morning and was
getting into a taxi on the main road to go to Nablus, where there
was to be a funeral that I wanted to film, when all of a sudden there
came a big crowd of Palestinians shouting and running down the hill
from the police station. I got out of the car to see what was happening
and saw that they were dragging something behind them.
"Within moments they were in front of me and, to my horror, I saw
that it was a body, a man they were dragging by the feet. The lower
part of his body was on fire and the upper part had been shot at,
and the head beaten so badly that it was a pulp, like red jelly. I
thought he was a soldier because I could see the remains of khaki
trousers and boots. My God, I thought, they've killed this guy. He
was dead, he must have been dead, but they were still beating him,
madly, kicking his head. They were like animals.
"They were just a few feet in front of me and I could see everything.
Instinctively, I reached for my camera. I was composing the picture
when I was punched in the face by a Palestinian. Another Palestinian
pointed right at me shouting "no picture, no picture!", while another
guy hit me in the face and said "give me your film!"
"I tried to get the film out but they were all grabbing me and one
guy just pulled the camera off me and smashed it to the floor. I knew
I had lost the chance to take the photograph that would have made
me famous and I had lost my favourite lens that I'd used all over
the world, but I didn't care. I was scared for my life.
"At the same time, the guy that looked like a soldier was being beaten
and the crowd was getting angrier and angrier, shouting "Allah akbar"
- God is great. They were dragging the dead man around the street
like a cat toying with a mouse.
"It was the most horrible thing that I have ever seen and I have
reported from Congo, Kosovo, many bad places. In Kosovo, I saw Serbs
beating an Albanian but it wasn't like this. There was such hatred,
such unbelievable hatred and anger distorting their faces.
"The worst thing was that I realised the anger that they were directing
at me was the same as that which they'd had toward the soldier before
dragging him from the police station and killing him. Somehow I escaped
and ran and ran not knowing where I was going. I never saw the other
guy they killed, the one they threw out of the window. I thought that
I'd got to know the Palestinians well. I've made six trips this year
and had been going to Ramallah every day for the past 16 days. I thought
they were kind, hospitable people. I know they are not all like this
and I'm a very forgiving person but I'll never forget this. It was
murder of the most barbaric kind. When I think about it, I see that
man's head, all smashed. I know that I'll have nightmares for the
rest of my life.
"That night when I got back to Jerusalem, I found out that I was
the only photographer there and people kept asking me if I'd got the
picture, then telling me I would have made my name. I was so shocked
that for the first time I didn't call my girlfriend who is back home
in west London, five months pregnant with our first child. Of course,
she was really worried because she'd seen on television what had happened
and she knew that I was in Ramallah and then I hadn't called.
"She was horrified and, when I did speak to her the next day, she
asked: "Did you see?" I just said yes, but I couldn't really talk
about it. Afterwards, I heard even worse details like that the man's
wife was phoning his mobile to see if he was all right and them telling
her that they were killing him.
"From what I saw, I can believe that. I love this country, I'd
love nothing more than to see Israelis and Palestinians sharing an
argalah or waterpipe but, after the hatred that I've seen in the past
few days, I don't think that will happen in my lifetime. Look how
many years that they've been talking peace - since 1993. Then, within
just a couple of weeks, they are at each other's throats. It seems
that it's easier to hate than to forgive.
"I didn't get the picture that would have made me famous but at least
I am alive to see the birth of my child."
hatred and malice evinced by the events Seager describes in his report
here are enough to take one's breath away. It seems to reach beyond
what anybody would understand as "normal." The fact is, on a purely
human level the fighting that is presently raging in the Middle East
over Jerusalem cannot be understood on any kind of human level.
It can only be understood in the context of God's "Plan and
Purpose in the Ages," and any effort to rationally digest what's
happening outside such a comprehension (cognition) is destined to failure
- a failure that will lead unswervingly to answers that will take people
off in the wrong direction, and that will inevitably posit a CYCLE
OF HATE based on "who's in the right" and "who's in the wrong" between
and among the actual "players" on the ground.
The fact is, what's going on now in the Middle East transcends our
human concepts of "right" and "wrong" - i.e., Who fired first in this
or that situation? Who committed this or that atrocity? Who terrorized
this or that person or group?
We reiterate: What's occurring today in the Middle East is the climax
of an "End Game" that has been in the works since 1948. This
"End Game" is now reaching its climax in the fighting
over Jerusalem, and the fightin is going to be very, very BLOODY!
Why? Because the elites of this earth - along with the indigenous
masses who unwittingly serve those elites - are doing everything in
their power to thwart the purpose of God in this respect.
QUESTIONS OF "RIGHT" AND "WRONG"
This doesn't mean that questions of "right" and "wrong" are of no importance,
it only means that we will get nowhere in understanding what's happening
in the Middle East insofar as that "track" is concerned. God's purpose
in Grace insofar as Israel is concerned (and, for that matter, the church)
simply cannot be "tracked" on this basis if only because it is beyond
us; as the Bible says,
"Touching (i.e., concerning) the Almighty, we cannot find (i.e.,
understand) him out ..."(Job 37:23)
All this to say that, in the complicated matters of this life, we must
be very careful - especially as these matters impact the Holy Land -
to NOT vilify people, for when we attempt to make judgments against
a whole people (whether the Arabs, or the Jews, or the Turks, or the
Iranians, or the Pakistanis, or whatever) on such a basis, we run the
very great danger of demonizing a people and in the process reckoning
them ultimately "unworthy" of God's favor, just as many Christians in
this country are doing today to feminists, homosexuals, abortionists,
etc. The Bible says:
"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
That includes all of us - Jews, Arabs, and Christians alike - whoever
we are!! But the Bible goes on to say that -
"The Lord ... is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to
repentance." (2 Pet. 3:9)
God is not willing that ANY should perish!! That's what the
Bible says!! And these verses apply to the Arabs just as much as they
apply to anyone else. You say, but these people are thwarting the purposes
of God in opposing Israel - and, yes, that's true. But isn't that what
we were all doing before we were saved? If God had waited until we had
"seen the light" insofar as His purposes in the earth are concerned,
we most surely would still be lost. But He didn't wait! - the Bible
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8)
AVOIDING THE DEMONIZATION OF WHOLE PEOPLES
If we insist on demonizing people because they are sinners and because
they are thwarting the will of God, then who will there be left for
us to preach the Gospel to? Remember!! - "For ALL have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). We must, therefore,
carefully guard against such a mindset. The Bible says:
"But I say unto you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for
them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
"THAT YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN:
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth
rain on the just and on the unjust.
"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not
even the publicans the same?
"And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?
do not even the publicans so? (Matt. 5:44-47)
And I remind you of these precious words of our Lord not as someone
who has never seen bloodshed, but as one who has on several occasions
been intimately involved in the kind of bloodshed that Seager describes.
The fact is, more than any of us care to admit, given the right circumstances,
we are all capable of becoming "animals" - and anyone who would deny
this fact has never seen combat in an "up-close" fashion and been subjected
to the rage and madness that is involved in such fighting (as opposed
to the make-believe kind of conflict that is portrayed in the movies).
Make no mistake about it - Jesus means what He says here (i.e., Matt.
5:44-47)!!! TO DO OTHERWISE (i.e., to demonize your enemies) IS TO
PLACE THEM "OFF LIMITS" INSOFAR AS THE GRACE (AND THE GOSPEL) OF THE
LORD JESUS CHRIST IS CONCERNED - and, again, the sad fact of the
matter is, this is precisely what Christians in this country have been
doing to feminists, homosexuals, abortionists and others who over the
years have been demonized by the Religious Right. Indeed, one gets the
distinct feeling that many in the so-called Religious Right would just
as soon hurry such people on their way to hell, and the faster the better.
There is no longer any room for the Gospel insofar as such people are
It, therefore, goes without saying that the demonization of any people
is "UNACCEPTABLE" insofar as God is concerned - and this includes
the Arabs, the Palestinians, the Iranians, and whatever. It is important
that we keep this in mind as we take up the matter of Israel and the
Jewish people. To say that one people is "chosen" is not to say
that another people is "damned" - and certainly not the Arab people,
for the Bible says concerning them:
"And God heard the voice of the lad (Ishmael - the father of the
Arab people); and the angel of God called to Hagar (Ishmael's mother)
out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not;
for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
"Arise, LIFT UP THE LAD, and hold him in thine hand; FOR I WILL
MAKE HIM A GREAT NATION." (Gen. 21:17-18)
This is certainly more than He has ever said with regard to white Europeans
- that's for sure!
We do well to keep this in mind. Ultimately, God will bring an end
to the fighting between these two brothers [i.e., the children of Ishmael
and the children of Isaac (they are, after all, BOTH sons of
Abraham)] - and we should bear in mind that it is not a wise thing to
curse those whom God loves!
With this said, we are at last brought to a place where we can begin
to examine God's ETERNAL and UNCHANGEABLE relationshipwith
Israel. And as we examine this relationship, we should bear in mind
that Israel's association with God is one of GRACE - i.e., "UNMERITED
favor." What that means is that Israel (and the Jewish people) have
done nothing to deserve it.
They are not intrinsically better (or, for that matter, worse) than
any other people; they are not smarter or dumber, more noble or ignoble,
deserving or less deserving than the other nations and peoples of the
earth. And most especially, they are no more able to keep the Law than
are the other nations and peoples of this world! - despite the fact
that the Law came through them.
In the end, it is a relationship of Grace - AND ONE THAT PARALLELS
IN EVERY RESPECT THE RELATIONSHIP OF GRACE GOD HAS WITH THE CHURCH.
You're surprised? Well, you shouldn't be, because that's what the
Bible, if not the tradition of the church, plainly teaches.
GOD'S RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL:
PUTTING THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE
Prior to the rise of evangelicalism, the traditional view of the church
was that God was finished with Israel. This is even today the view of
the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy (Greek, Russian, Armenian,
etc.), and the so-called "mainline" Protestant churches of the West
- i.e., the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, the Dutch Reform, the
Lutherans, the American Baptists, etc. They base their contention that
God is done with Israel on the fact that the Jews were unable to live
up to the conditions of the Mosaic Covenant.
For example, one well-known Presbyterian writer puts it this way in
a primer distributed widely in Presbyterian and Dutch Reform circles:
that Gods promises to Israel were conditional.
(Those who say otherwise)
greatly error in teaching that God
gave Israel a blank check
They teach that Gods
promises to national Israel are binding upon God - regardless of what
Israel does or does not do ...
the crucifixion was Israels most heinous crime
against God. It was at this point - their treatment of the Messiah
- that Israel failed the most miserably to keep the conditions laid
down in Gods promise to her
What was the penalty for
Israels failure to meet the conditions laid down by Jehovah,
and which climaxed in her heinous treatment of the Messiah?
God withdrew his presence from Israel as a nation. The Jewish
state come to a bitter end in A.D. 70.
"Nor will national Israel ever again be a fruitful nation
The historic Christian teaching holds that national Israel was a type
or forerunner of the church, and that the church replaced Israel
on the day of Pentecost.This view holds that God made two sets
of promises to national Israel - national promises, and spiritual
promises. Allearthly promises to Israel have been either fulfilled
or invalidatedbecause of disobedience
"All spiritual promises are being fulfilled through the church
The New Testament teaches that the church is the true heir to the
Old Testament promises, that it alone fits the description of the
chosen people referred to in the Old Testament, that it alone is Gods
special instrument for consummating His eternal purpose, and that
in the sight of God there is no longer any difference between the
Jewish nation and all the other nations of the world
a time there was a real difference between the nation of Israel and
the other nations of the world.
"At Calvary, however, that distinction vanished as the universality
of Christianity replaced the provincialism of Judaism
church is the new and spiritual Israel which has replaced the old,
"There are many people, however, even many believers who embrace
instead the belief that God today does not have only one chosen body
of people, which is the church, but that He has two bodies - the church
which is His heavenly people and the nation of Israel
which is His earthly people'.Israel was a type of the church,
and as such its personalities, institutions and experiences are for
the church examples',
of the new and better things
that were unveiled at Calvary.
"The great lessons enshrined in the Old Testament are for the admonition
of the church ... The Scriptures teach
us that in all of Gods dealing with mankind, from the time of
we may discern the same divine principle at work, namely,
first the natural, then the spiritual
' God has progressively
revealed His purpose through, first, His dealing with natural Israel
and, second and finally, His dealings with spiritual Israel. There
is no Scriptural basis for the regressive idea that Gods dealing
will again be centered ... in natural Israel at some future date."
FOR ALL HAVE SINNED
The writer above contends that God's promises to Israel - which he
says rest exclusively on the Mosaic Covenant - were "invalidated"because
of "disobedience." And, no doubt, Israel broke that covenant
- and in that wise, there can be no question that the Mosaic Covenant
was invalidated by Israel's disobedience! Such, however, would have
been the case with any other people God might have chosen - for remember
what the Bible says,
"... There is NONE righteous, no, not one:
"They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become
unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, not one.
"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
(Rom. 3:10, 12, 23)
The contention of the diatribe directed against Israel above by advocates
of the Presbyterian and Dutch Reform churches, however, seems to imply
that such isn't the case. That there was something peculiarly evil and
particularly depraved in Israel's disobedience that would forever set
Israel apart from the other nations of the world, marking her as a pariah
and as an outcast nation, never again to be numbered among the other
nations of the world. Isn't that what is plainly implied when the writer
What was the penalty for Israels failureto meet
the conditions laid down by Jehovah, and which climaxed in her heinous
treatment of the Messiah?
God withdrew his presence from Israel
as a nation.The Jewish state come to a bitter end in A.D. 70. Nor
will national Israel ever again be a fruitful nation
Of course that's what's implied! But I repeat, Israel did nothing more
here than any other people or nation would have done under similar circumstances
and given the same chance. Again (and again, and again, and again) I
must implore you to REMEMBER what the Bible says - "... There is NONE
righteous, no, not one ... They are ALL gone out of the way,
they are together become unprofitable ... there is NONE that
doeth good, no, not one ... For ALL have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:10, 12, 23). With regard to this matter,
I have heard it said - and I believe that there is much truth in this
saying - that "the lack of sin in any particular circumstance in this
life is often no more than the lack of opportunity" - and that surely
is true with regard to Israel's (and the Jewish people's) detractors
GOD'S ETERNAL AND IMMUTABLE COVENANTS
IN GRACE WITH THE NATION OF ISRAEL
But there is something more that we should take note of here, and that
is this: THERE ARE FOUR OTHER ADDITIONAL COVENANTS THAT GOD MADE
WITH ISRAEL BEYOND THE MOSAIC COVENANT - SPECIFICALLY, THE ABRAHAMIC
COVENANT, THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT, THE DAVIDIC COVENANT, AND THE NEW
COVENANT - WHICH HAVE NEVER BEEN INVALIDATED BECAUSE THESE PARTICULAR
COVENANTS DO NOT REST ON ISRAEL'S FAITHFULNESS (AS DID THE MOSAIC COVENANT)
BUT ON GOD'S FAITHFULNESS! You say, I've never heard this
before! - well, it's the truth. Let's back up a little and see, and
in doing so, we will carefully adhere to the core doctrines of evangelicalism,
the standard doctrines to which almost all evangelicals (i.e., the Conservative
Baptists, the Regular Baptists, the Southern Baptists, the Assemblies
of God, etc.) subscribe.
DEFINITION OF THE WORD "COVENANT"
Charles F. Lincoln defines the word "covenant" as follows:
"A divine covenant is (1) a sovereign disposition of God, whereby
He establishes an UNCONDITIONAL or declarative compact with
man, obligating Himself in grace, by the untrammeled formula, 'I WILL',
to bring to pass of Himself definite blessings for the covenanted
ones, or (2) a proposal of God, wherein He promises, in a CONDITIONAL
or mutual compact with man, by the contingent formula 'IF YE WILL',
to grant special blessings to man provided he (man) fulfills perfectly
certain conditions, and to execute definite punishments in case of
his (mans) failure." 5
Two additional points should be noted -
GODS COVENANTS ARE LITERAL.
First, God's covenants are literal. G.N.H. Peters writes:
"In all earthly transactions, when a promise, agreement, or
a contract is entered into by which one party gives a promise of value
to another, it is universally the custom to explain such a relationship
and its promises by the well-known laws of language contained in our
grammar or in common usage. It would be regarded absurd ... to view
them in any other way ... The very nature of a covenant demands that
it should be so worded, so plainly expressed, that it conveys a decisive
meaning, and not a hidden or mystical one that requires many centuries
to resolve in order to develop." 7
GODS COVENANTS WERE
MADE STRICTLY WITH ONLY ONE COVENANT PEOPLE:
Second, no Gentile nation (including so-called "Christian" nations
like America, Britain, France, etc.) has ever received a divine covenant
from God; there is only one nation that God has ever covenanted
with - Israel. J. Dwight Pentecost writes:
"Finally, these covenants were made with a covenant people,
Israel. In Romans 9:4 Paul states that the nation of Israel had received
covenants from the Lord. In Ephesians 2:11-12 he states, conversely,
that the Gentiles have not received any such covenants and consequently
do not enjoy covenant relationships with God. These passages show
us, negatively, that the Gentile (nations) were (and are) without
covenant relationships (with God) and, positively, that God had entered
into covenant relationships with Israel."
THE FIVE COVENANTS
OF GOD WITH ISRAEL
The Scriptures refer to five major covenants with Israel, all of
them made by God with the Jewish people. Four of these covenants
answer to the first formula defined above and are UNCONDITIONAL;
one of them answers to the second formula and is CONDITIONAL. Lincoln
"The four UNCONDITIONAL covenants, with the formula I
WILL, are found in (1) Genesis 12:1-3, where the formula is
found either expressed or understood seven times; (2) Deuteronomy
30:1-10, where it is found either expressed or understood, twelve
times; (3) II Samuel 7:10-16, where it is found seven times; and (4)
Jeremiah 31:31, where it is found seven times. The CONDITIONAL covenant,
(5) with the formula IF YE WILL, is found besides in Exodus
19:5 ff., also in Deuteronomy 28:1-68; verses 1-14, If thou
shall hearken diligently ... blessings; verses 15-68, If
thou will not hearken ... cursings."
Thus, it is to be observed that there are two kinds of covenants which
God entered into with Israel: CONDITIONAL and UNCONDITIONAL.
(The Mosaic Covenant)
In a CONDITIONAL covenant that which was covenanted depends for its
fulfillment upon the RECIPIENT of the covenant (Israel), not upon the
one making the covenant (God). Certain obligations or considerations
must be fulfilled by the receiver of the covenant (Israel) before the
Giver of the covenant (God) is obligated to fulfill that which was promised.
It is a covenant with an "IF" attached to it. The MOSAIC COVENANT
is such a covenant.
An UNCONDITIONAL covenant depends ALONE on the Giver of the
covenant for its fulfillment. That which was promised is sovereignly
given to the recipient of the covenant on the authority and integrity
of the One making the covenant apart from the merit or response of the
It is a covenant with no "IF" attached to it whatsoever.
In addition, it should be noted that the unconditional covenants
made by God with the Jewish people are ETERNAL. Lincoln writes:
"All of Israels covenants are called eternal except the
Mosaic Covenant which is declared to be temporal, i.e., it was to
continue only until the ... (advent of a better covenant - the New
Covenant). For this detail see as follows: (1) the Abrahamic Covenant
is called eternal in Genesis 17:7, 13, 19; I Chronicles
16:17; Psalm 105:10; (2) the Palestinian Covenant is called eternal
in Ezekiel 16:20; the Davidic Covenant is called eternal
in II Samuel 23:5; Isaiah 55:3; and Ezekiel 37:25; and (4) the New
Covenant is called eternal in Isaiah 24:5; 61:8; Jeremiah
32:40; 50:5; and Hebrews 13:20."
THE FOUR UNCONDITIONAL COVENANTS OF GOD WITH ISRAEL
Let us now turn our attention to an examination of the four specific
UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL covenants of God with Israel.
- THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
The Abrahamic Covenant is the first of the four great ETERNAL
and UNCONDITIONAL covenants made by God with the Jewish people
(Genesis 12:1-3; 26:1-5; 28:10-15). It forms the basis for the remaining
three. It contains seven promises:
- "I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION." This promise
was to be fulfilled in two ways.
[It should be noted that the first hint is made here concerning
the two entities through which God planned to bring into subjection
the earth and the heavens: Israel was to subject the earth ("a"
above), and the church was to subject the heavens ("b"
- NATURAL POSTERITY, i.e., "as the dust of the earth"
through Isaac and the Jewish people.
- SPIRITUALLY, i.e., "as the stars of heaven"
- that out from the Jewish people would come Christ (Messiah)
and that out from Christ would come the church.
- "I WILL BLESS THEE."
- "AND MAKE THY NAME GREAT."
- "AND THOU SHALT BE A BLESSING."
- "I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE."
- "AND CURSE THEM THAT CURSE THEE."
- "AND IN THEE SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE
- THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT
In the closing chapters of the Book of Deuteronomy, the children
of Israel faced a crisis in their national existence (Deuteronomy
28-30). They were about to pass from the proven leadership of Moses
to the unproven leadership of Joshua. They were standing at the
entrance to the land that was promised to them by God. BUT THIS
LAND WAS POSSESSED BY ISRAELS SWORN ENEMIES who had shown
that they would resist any attempt by Israel to enter the land promised
them. It was impossible for them to return to their former status
as a slave nation, and the land to which they were journeying seemed
shut before them. As a result, many of them doubted the efficacy
of the original ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. Had the inauguration of the
MOSAIC COVENANT, which all agreed was CONDITIONAL, set aside the
UNCONDITIONAL ABRAHAMIC COVENANT, the promises of which were
now in doubt? To answer these important questions, God stated again
His covenant promise concerning Israels possession of and
inheritance in the Land of Palestine.
The PALESTINIAN COVENANT promised the following:
- It reaffirmed title to Israel of the land of promise.
- It substantiated to Israel the fact that the introduction
of the TEMPORAL and "CONDITIONAL" MOSAIC COVENANT had
not set aside the UNCONDITIONAL and ETERNAL promises
of the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
- It enlarged the boundaries of the promised land given in
the ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
IN ADDITION, THE PALESTINIAN COVENANT contained certain statements:
- That the nation would be punished because of its unfaithfulness
vis-a-vis the MOSAIC COVENANT (Deut. 28:63-68).
- That Israel would be eventually restored to the land of
promise after an as yet future dispersion among the Gentile nations
- That Messiah would come (Deut. 30:3-6).
- That there would be a future repentance of Israel (Deut.
- That Israel would embrace Messiah as a nation (Deut. 30:4-8;
cf. Rom. 11:26-27).
- That Israels enemies would be judged (Deut. 30:7).
- That the nation would receive her full and eternal blessing
(Deut. 30:9). 10
It is interesting to note that the exact conditions which prevailed
at the time wherein the PALESTINIAN COVENANT was given, prevail
We do well to stand with Israel despite temptations to the contrary;
it is a fearful thing to be found fighting against the God of Israel
for ANY reason.
- THE DAVIDIC COVENANT
These promises made by God to Israel are contained in II Samuel
7:12-16. The historic background of the DAVIDIC COVENANT is well
known. Inasmuch as David had come to power and authority in the
kingdom and now dwelt in a house of cedar, it seemed incongruous
that the One from whom he derived his authority and government should
dwell in a house of skins - a tent.
It was Davids intention to build a suitable dwelling place
for God. But because he had been a man of war, David was not permitted
to build this house. However, God made certain promises to David
concerning the perpetuity of his house. These promises pertained
to the eternal nature of:
- Davids House.
- Davids Kingdom.
- Davids Throne.
John Walvoord, past president of Dallas Theological Seminary, writes:
"What do the major terms of the (DAVIDIC) covenant mean?
By Davids House it can hardly be doubted that
reference is made to Davids posterity, his physical descendants.
It is assured that they will never be slain in toto, nor
displaced by another family entirely. The line of David will always
be the royal line. By the term throne it is clear
that no reference is made to a material throne, but rather to
the dignity and power which was sovereign and supreme in David
as king. The right to rule always belonged to Davids seed.
By the term kingdom there is reference to Davids
political kingdom over Israel. By the expression forever
it is signified that the Davidic authority and the Davidic kingdom
or rule over Israel shall never be transferred to another family,
and its arrangement is designed for eternal perpetuity. Whatever
its changing form, temporary interruptions, or chastisements,
the line of David will always have the right to rule over Israel
and will, in fact, exercise this privilege."
As with the PALESTINIAN COVENANT, certain prophetic implications
resulted which naturally followed from the provisions of the DAVIDIC
- Israel must be preserved as a nation.
- Israel must be brought back into the land of her inheritance
(including not just her 1948 boundaries, but also the so-called
West Bank, the whole city of Jerusalem, and much of present day
Jordan, southern Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, etc.
- Davids "Seed," the Lord Jesus Christ, must
return to the earth bodily to reign over Davids promised
- A literal earthly kingdom must be constituted over which
Messiah will reign. Peters writes: "The fulfillment of the
covenant promises implies, in view of this restored Davidic throne
and kingdom, that the Messianic Kingdom is to be a visible, external
kingdom, not merely a spiritual one ..."
- This kingdom must become an eternal kingdom.
- THE NEW COVENANT
The NEW COVENANT as stated in Jeremiah 31:31-34 guarantees to Israel
what the temporal and conditional MOSAIC COVENANT could never accomplish
- a converted heart as the foundation of all her blessings:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I WILL make a
NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH:
not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in
the day that I took them out of the land of Egypt (the MOSAIC COVENANT);
which covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them,
saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I WILL make
with THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL; after those days (i.e., the "last days")
saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write
it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my
people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and
every man his brother, saying Know the Lord: for they shall all
know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith
the Lord: for I WILL forgive their iniquity, and I WILL remember
their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
"The NEW COVENANT promises:
- "An UNCONDITIONAL, grace covenant resting on the
I WILL of God. The frequency of the phrase in Jeremiah
31:31-34 is striking (cf. Ezekiel 16:60-62).
- "An EVERLASTING covenant. This is closely related to
the fact that it is UNCONDITIONAL and made in grace ... (Isa.
61:2; cf. Ezek. 37:26; Jer. 3135-37).
- "The impartation of a renewed mind and heart which we
may call regeneration ... (Jer. 31:33; cf. Isa 59:21).
- "Restoration to the favor and blessing of God ... (Hos.
2:19-20; cf. Isa. 61:9).
- "Forgiveness of sin: ... for I WILL remove their
iniquity, and I WILL remember their sins no more (Jer. 31:34).
- "The indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is seen by comparing
Jeremiah 31:33 with Ezekiel 36:27.
- "The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit will be manifested
and the will of God will be known by obedient hearts ... (Jer. 31:34).
- "As is always the case when Israel is in the land, she
will be blessed materially in accordance with the provisions of
the NEW COVENANT ... (Jer. 32:41; Isa. 61:8; Ezekiel 34:25-27).
- "The sanctuary will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, for it is
written, ... I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them
for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them'. (Ezek. 37:26-27a)
- "War shall cease and peace shall reign according to Hosea
2:18. The fact that this is also a definite characteristic of the
Millennium (Isa. 2:4) further supports the fact that the NEW COVENANT
is Millennial in its fulfillment.
- "The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation
of all the blessings of the NEW COVENANT, for by the blood
of THY COVENANT I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein
is no water. (Zech. 9:11)
"By way of summary, it may be said that as far as the "Old
Testament" teaching on the NEW COVENANT is concerned, the
covenant was made with the JEWISH PEOPLE. Its period of fulfillment
is yet future, beginning when the Deliverer shall come and continuing
throughout all eternity. Its provisions for the nation of Israel
are glorious, and they all rest ... (solely) on the WORD OF GOD."
ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY
Theologians from the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy (Greek,
Russian, Armenian, etc.), and the so-called "mainline" Protestant churches
of the West - i.e., the Presbyterians, the Episcopalians, the Dutch
Reform, the Lutherans, the American Baptists, etc. (once again, those
theologians who deny that modern day Israel has any biblical significance)
have attempted to appropriate the provisions of the NEW COVENANT wholly
and exclusively to the church. But to do so is to (1) deny the LITERAL
nature of the Word of God which should be taken at face value (because
the wording of all four UNCONDITIONAL COVENANTS make clear that
these covenants were made specifically with the Jewish people), and
/ or (2) make God out as a liar. There is simply no way to get around
it: Israel is CLEARLY the recipient of these covenants.
Those theologians - called "Covenant Theologians" - who deny that the
present-day nation of Israel has any relevance base their contention
that the church is now the exclusive recipient of the UNCONDITIONAL
COVENANTS on certain passages in the New Testament which link the church
to these covenants, specifically, Luke 22:20; I Corinthians 11:25; II
Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:8; and 9:15.
Evangelicals, however, do not deny that the church, as a "MYSTERY"
is "hinted" at in these covenants:
"Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel,
and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation
of the MYSTERY, which was kept secret since the world began." (Rom.
Moreover, these "hints" are substantiated and made real in
the New Testament in innumerable passages as when Paul declares that
Christians are children of Abraham by faith (Gal. 3:7 and 3:29). But
these passages do not make void the original promises of God to Israel;
they point out, rather, that in some "peculiar" way, Christians
are to be made "joint heirs" with Israel. How? Not by displacing
Israel or even making the church a partaker in the EARTHLY promises,
but by GRANTING THE CHURCH THE HEAVENLY COUNTERPARTS OF ISRAELS
EARTHLY PROMISES - so that now the following situation pertains and
is made real:
So now, what do we have? A church that has replaced Israel? - by no
means! Rather, two entities, one heavenly - the church; and one earthly
- Israel, which compliment and mirror the other; both of which reflect
the glory of God, each in its own respective sphere.
Lastly, one additional point: this is not simply an academic exercise
in "peripheral matters." How one answers the question concerning
"Replacement Theology" (i.e., the theology that postulates that the
church has replaced Israel) as opposed to pre-millennialism has very
grave consequences - and these consequences go far beyond whether it's
permissible for the church to participate in the political and military
activities of this world. Ultimately, it also colors one's attitude
towards Israel and the Jewish people.
ANTI-SEMITISM & THE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF THE CHURCH ON JUDAISM
AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE
The fact of the matter is, Replacement Theology leads irresistibly
to anti-Semitism. IT WAS, THEREFORE, NO ACCIDENT THAT FROM THE MOMENT
THE CHURCH ADOPTED THE PROPOSITION THAT IT WAS THE "NEW" AND "SPIRITUAL"
ISRAEL THAT HAD REPLACED THE "OLD" AND "NATURAL" ONE, ANTI-SEMITISM
PRESENTED ITSELF AS AN INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCE. And this is exactly
what happened after the publication of Augustine's monumental work,
De Civitate Dei (City of God), where that proposition was first
What other outcome could there possibly be? - if the church was indeed
the "New Israel of God" [as church (i.e., Roman Catholic)
theologians postulated] it stood to reason that after the establishment
of the church [and the greater "reality" that the church seemed
to represent], the Jewish community should have been absorbed into the
church, and/or absorbed into the nations into which they had been dispersed.
After all, was not Israel merely a "type" or "shadow"
of the church, and when the reality appears, should not the "type"
or the "shadow" disappear, there being no further need of
it? But this was not what occurred. And not only that, but the
Jewish community - despite the fact of its dispersion - gradually developed
into an astonishingly tight-knit, well organized, and - in some countries
- influential community whose organization and arrangement transcended
national boundaries; a community that was international in scope at
a time of growing particularism, provincialism, and insularism.
What possible explanation could there be for such a phenomenon? The
continued existence of the Jewish people seemed to defy explanation
by any normal standard. And that was the rub! - it could not be explained
on a normal or rational basis. No people had ever before survived so
long as a separate entity after losing their national homeland and being
dispersed so widely. The explanation for such a phenomenon could only
be accounted for on some supernatural ground. But if this was so - and
all seemed to agree that it was - was the supernatural presence which
so obviously seemed to surround the Jewish people malevolent or benevolent?
For Catholic theologians, there could be but one answer to such a question,
and that answer was but the natural consequence of Replacement Theology.
It was an "either/or" situation that the church had created
for itself in relation to Israel and the Jewish people - either the
church, OR Israel and the Jewish people. There was no middle
ground. And if it one believed that the church was of God, than the
presence which surrounded the Jewish people, and which empowered their
continued existence beyond all reason, had to be of the Devil. There
could be no other answer!! And once this conclusion was reached, than
everything else followed - from the stories of their "apostasy"
to the "Judeo-Masonic world-conspiracy" and the illuminati.
More text time!
God bless all of you.
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank"
insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned
- a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY
trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
YOU CAN HELP BY EMAILING
THIS ARTICLE TO
YOUR FRIENDS AND