HOME    |    Current    |    Archives    |    Resources    |    RealMedia    |    Links    |    Contact Us
agsconsulting.com

The Israeli-Arab
Peace Process and
Bible Prophecy

An open letter from Christians to Christians

Chapter 1

Divine Perspective of Historic Rights

The Arab Palestinians claim historic roots and historic rights to the Land of Israel. But there is a higher perspective of history—the perspective of the One who writes history before it happens. The Bible, God's Word, defines the actual boundaries the State of Israel is to possess. These boundaries are based on God's promise to Abraham and his "seed" or descendants. The promise was reiterated to Isaac (not Ishmael) and then to Jacob whose name was changed to "Israel." The children of Israel were promised to possess all the Land "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates" (Genesis 15:18).

The Greatest Grand Larceny in History

Long before the revisionism of Holocaust history, Christians made a revision of God's promises to Israel. Afflicted with anti-Semitism for over seventeen hundred years, the traditional churches quickly developed "Replacement Theology," which is in reality "revisionist theology." Early church theologians wrongly concluded that Israel as a people was eternally rejected by God for having rejected Jesus. The claim is that the church is now spiritual Israel and, as such, has replaced natural Israel. This "Replacement Theology" is still held by most mainline Christian denominations and is now making inroads in Evangelical churches especially in the charismatic movement under the banner of "Reconstructionism." This theology also falsely concludes that Israel has lost all claim to its Land. This attempt to deprive the overwhelming majority of the Jewish people since the time of Jesus of its glorious eternal destiny is the greatest grand larceny attempt in history.

The King James version of the Bible is replete with examples of "revisionist theology." Chapter after chapter of Old Testament prophecies contain promises of God's blessing to Israel and Jacob. The publishers, who are revisionists, attempt to negate the Jewish people in these chapters by arbitrarily adding chapter headings which apply the verses to the Christian church. While at times "Israel" can be symbolic of the Church, "spiritual Israel," promises to "Jacob" always refer to "natural Israel." Whole chapters of Divine blessings and promises have been literally stolen from the Jewish people. This is simply grand larceny. Isaiah 43, for example, God addresses His promises to "O Jacob" and "O Israel." The chapter heading arbitrarily reads in most King James Bibles, however, "God comforteth the Church with His promises."

The anti-Semitic spirit of "Replacement Theology" becomes evident when dealing with the chapters in the Old Testament that refer to God's curses against Israel. In these verses, spiritualizing the meaning of "Israel" is not attempted. But whenever God's curses to Israel appear, they are readily applied to the Jews. Above Isaiah 59 is added a heading, "The sins of the Jews." Yet in the very next chapter, Isaiah 60, these very same Jewish people are robbed by the revisionists of their God-given promise of future glory. Note the false chapter heading in most King James Bibles, "Glory of the Church." The historian James Parkes observed: 6

But Christian theologians divided it [the Old Testament] into the story of two people…the virtuous Hebrews…had all the praise and the promises and the wicked Jews had all the crimes and denunciations. This was the interpretation [of Replacement Theology] repeated over and over again, in every possible variation, and in every century from the third century onward.

"Replacement Theology"
And the Early Church Fathers

What are the unfortunate origins of "Replacement Theology"? This "revisionist" or "Replacement Theology" had its roots in the anti-Semitism of the so-called Early Church Fathers.

An early Church writing, the Epistle of Barnabas, said that Jews had no future with any God-given covenant. "Do not add to your sins and say that the covenant is both theirs and ours," he insisted. "Yes! It is ours; but they thus lost it forever." 7

Justin Martyr, writing to the Jewish leader Trypho (A.D. 138), quoted from the Jewish Scriptures, which he referred to as "your Scriptures, or rather not yours, but ours." He also stated that the "prophetical gifts…formerly among your nation have been transferred to us." 8

In A.D. 387 John Chrysostom ranted, "Since the deicide, the Jews have been delivered into the hands of the demons…they are only fit to be butchered…their behavior is no better than that of swine and oxen in the gross lewdness…The synagogue is a brothel, a cave of brigands, a den of ferocious animals…." 9 He also argued that when Christians beat and murder Jews, the Jews are to blame, not the Christians who had acted through "God's will." 10

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, ordered the burning of a synagogue in A.D. 388, "so that there would be no place where Christ is rejected." In his eyes, the synagogue "was destroyed by the judgment of God." 11

"Replacement Theology" and Anti-Semitism

As "Replacement Theology" was begotten by the anti-Semitism of the Early Church Fathers, so Martin Luther is an example of how the acceptance of "Replacement Theology" can, in turn, beget anti-Semitism. In an article entitled, "That Jesus Was Born a Jew," dated 1523, Luther initially said: 12

For they [the Catholics] have dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs and not human beings. They have done nothing for them but curse them and seize their wealth. I would advise and beg everybody to deal kindly with the Jews and to instruct them in the Scriptures; in such a case we could expect them to come over to us. We must receive them kindly and allow them to compete with us in earning a livelihood. . .and if some remain obstinate, what of it? Not everyone is a good Christian.

When the Jews did not convert as Luther expected, he wrote a pamphlet in his later years, "Concerning the Jews and Their Lies," in which he listed eight actions to be taken against the Jews: 13

bullet Burn all synagogues
bullet Forbid Jews to travel
bullet Destroy Jewish dwellings
bullet Forbid Jews to charge interest on loans to non-Jews and confiscate Jewish property
bullet Confiscate the Jews' holy books
bullet Force Jews to do physical labor
bullet Forbid rabbis to teach
bullet Expel the Jews from provinces where Christians live

Today "Replacement" theologians also, wrongly conclude that the Jewish people have lost all rights to their Land. Accordingly, they claim all prophecies—especially in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning Israel's restoration to its historic Land—were fulfilled with the return of Israel after the Babylonian captivity (536 B.C.). Then, they say, any further promises of blessing after 536 B.C. would be conditional to their faithfulness and since they proved totally unfaithful in rejecting Jesus, any further blessing as a nation or people was forfeited.

What Do the Scriptures Say?

This revisionist concept of Israel's forfeiture of their Land is refuted by the prophet Jeremiah. "Thus saith the LORD…if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then will I cast away the seed of Jacob…for I will cause their captivity to return [Hebrew-return from exile] and have mercy on them" (Jeremiah 31:35-37; 33:25-26). These two prophecies in Jeremiah together devastate "Replacement Theology." Only when God's laws of the universe cease to control day and night and the operation of heaven and earth, only then will God cast off the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then Jeremiah shows, "That the city [Old Jerusalem] shall be built to the Lord" by the returned Jews and furthermore, "It shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down anymore forever" (Jeremiah 31:38-40). The descendants of Israel (Jacob)—not Ishmael or Esau—will receive the city of Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem) forever.

Zechariah was written after the return from Babylonian captivity and during the building of the second temple. Yet Zechariah prophesied a future dispersion and final regathering of Israel to its Land—culminating in Jerusalem becoming the capital of God's kingdom on earth.

Zechariah 8:7-8 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."

Zechariah 8:13 "And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong."

Zechariah 8:20-23 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."

Certainly, the prophecies in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, and others, speak of Israel's first restoration to its Land, after the 70 years' desolation/captivity. But they also speak of Israel's final restoration in the "last days" and in "those days" which will culminate in God's Kingdom on earth. When has a kingdom of universal peace, prosperity, happiness and economic security ever been established (Isaiah 2:2-4; Jeremiah 31:29-34; Micah 4:1-7)? Isaiah reveals a set of prophecies indicating that Israel will be restored to Divine favor—playing a central role in God's future Kingdom on earth—long after the death of Jesus.

Isaiah 2:1-4 "The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

A Second Regathering

Although written before the Babylonian dispersion, the Book of Isaiah speaks of the LORD regathering Israel the second time. He had regathered them the first time after the seventy years' desolation/captivity. Israel was not dispersed again until A.D. 70—nearly forty years after Jesus' death when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. The regathering of the Jews to their promised Land in our era is the "second time" regathering of Isaiah's prophecy.

Isaiah 11:11-12 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea [the nations far beyond Babylon]. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."

This "second time" regathering was predicted to be from nations far beyond Babylon. Deuteronomy indicates Jews would be scattered to nations not known to their fathers.

Deuteronomy 28:36-37 "The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers [Abraham came from Babylon, Genesis 11:31] have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone. And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee."

Because the Prophet Jeremiah quotes these very words of Moses, the "fathers" Jeremiah refers to must be a reference to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This prophecy refers to the "fathers" before Israel entered the Land—not as revisionists wrongly claim, the "fathers" or leaders of disobedience who led them after they entered the Land. Although Jeremiah lived before the 70 years' desolation/captivity, he was already predicting the second dispersion into a land that their "fathers" never knew. This second dispersion would extend far beyond Babylon or the Chaldees where "father" Abraham once lived. Therefore, Jeremiah presents a thrilling prophecy of both a second dispersion and the miraculous second regathering that is now being fulfilled.

Jeremiah 16:13-15 "Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of israel from the land of the north and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."

Another example of a prophecy written before the Babylonian captivity with an end-time fulfillment is in Zephaniah 3:8,9. This prophecy includes the time when God pours out his wrath on all the kingdoms of this earth. Then He "turns to the people a pure language [the true gospel], that they may all call upon the name of the LORD with one consent." Never in the past have "all" called upon the Name of the LORD.

The same chapter wonderfully deals with natural Israel's "end time" restoration and Israel's leading role in God's kingdom:

Zephaniah 3:19-20 "Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, 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 people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD."

These end-time prophecies obviously were not fulfilled during the return following the Babylonian captivity. The Jews have not been replaced or displaced from these prophetic promises of God. These prophecies concerning modern Israel's restoration are unequivocally sure of fulfillment.

"No More Pulled Up"

The Scriptures, furthermore, speak of this final regathering as culminating in joy and blessing that will never end.

Jeremiah 31:10-12 "Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all."the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all."

This time is yet future when Israel, restored to its Land, will experience an eternity of joy.

Amos 9:14-15 "And I will bring again the captivity [return from exile] of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God."

Such prophesies as these cannot be logically interpreted in any symbolic sense. Israel is to be literally planted again "upon their own land," the Land of their fathers—Canaan. God had given them the Land by divine promise to Abraham and his seed—an "everlasting possession." This promise is from God Himself and must eventually, therefore, be fulfilled. The original promise to Abraham stands forever.

Genesis 13:14-17; 17:8 "Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever, . . . Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. . . . I will give it unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession."

"No more pulled up"…"give the Land forever"…"an everlasting possession"—these phrases speak of Israel's future and eternal possession of the Land. The LORD specifically promised Canaan, "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession" (Genesis 17:8). The Christian Stephen declared that Abraham never received the Land in fulfillment of God's promise recorded in Genesis (Acts 7:5). Stephen's logic is that Abraham will receive the Land in God's Kingdom and all his descendants (the Jewish people) shall receive the Land after him as an "everlasting possession." Canaan is not in heaven. Canaan is on earth.

All of these prophecies harmonize with Apostle Paul's inspired reasoning in Romans 11:25-36. Contrary to Replacement Theology, "All Israel shall be saved" from both Adamic death and the condemnation of the Law—"for the gifts and callings of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29).

Biblical Zionists "Watchmen" in Israel

Possibly the most pertinent scripture to the current Land issue and the "peace process" is Jeremiah 31:5-10. In the context of the end-time regathering of the Jewish people to their Land, the LORD says, "Again [after their exile from the Land] you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria [the so-called "West Bank"]… watchmen on the Mount Ephraim [also the so-called "West Bank"] shall cry, arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God." The Biblical Zionists are the "watchmen" and many live on the mountains of Samaria and Ephraim. The Biblical Zionists are calling the secular Israelis to turn to the LORD and His Bible. A debate is raging in Israel today between the Biblical Zionists and the secular Israelis.

However, vs. 7 stands out as addressing Christians. "For thus saith the LORD [here Christians, a class not represented in Jacob, are instructed to] sing with gladness for Jacob [natural Israel] and shout among the chief [Hebrew lit. "head"] of the nations [the U.S. is the chief nation today]: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel." 14 Christians are instructed to pray to God to save the people of Israel—including those who are living in the mountains of Samaria and Ephraim (the "West Bank"). Christians are also instructed to "publish" to the United States what God is doing. Is the U.S. cooperating with God's purposes? By pressuring Israel to give up the West Bank, the U.S. is working against God. The U.S. is working against the LORD who said, "I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn [those who live in Samaria]" (Jeremiah 31:9-12). The prophecy concludes by revealing all nations should recognize that the Lord is restoring Jacob, natural Israel, to its land.

The promises to natural Israel have not been forfeited to Christians. These promises of return to the Land do not refer to the return from Babylon, but to the current miraculous restoration to nationhood. Israel now will no "more be pulled up." Never.

Historic Rights Partitioned Land Biblical Perspective
A Blesser Nation End Notes

Historic Rights
Partitioned Land
Biblical Perspective
A Blesser Nation
End Notes

The Israeli-Arab Peace Process and Bible Prophecy
An alternate application of the chief of the nations would be the U.N.