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Greetings, all, Hope you are all doing great and the Lord is smiling and offering you all His kind Grace and blessings. Studying the Good Book, questions rise after questions, i hope it's a good thing. Reading the Old testament, we come across the word 'Israel' when God tells Jacob: i believe this is the first mention of that name, and then it has been mentioned multiple times on and on, especially through the book of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Hoshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, a good number of Psalms, starting with Psalm 14 and ending with Psalm 149, Proverbs 1, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phiippians, Hebrews, and finally in Revelation 21: 12. if i am not wrong, this word: 'Israel' has been mentioned about 2714 times! i understand that most of the time this word is refered to as the people, or the land, or children of Jacob and suchlike, but what about the first time it was mentioned? and what about the time when it is mentioned in the New Testament? For instance: Or better still: Surely here 'Israel' does not only refer to the Jews or the children of Jacob, and is different, or at least i humbly believe so, but being a nurd, i'd like to make sure. Thanks a lot for your time and kindness. Bless your hearts, Totoo
On a recent missions trip to Israel, I put together a short documentary on a recent prophetic fulfillment in Northern Israel that is very significant for the time frame we are living in today. Isaiah 29;17-18 "Is it not yet a very little while,and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book,and the eyes of the blind shall see out of OBscurity,and out of darkness."
I want to start a topic here to dispel the satanic heresy that the current Jews that comprise that land of Israel are not real Jews, a theory in which denies that the current state of Israel is the fulfillment of numerous Bible prophecies regarding Israel returning to her land. I am going to post a link to a video here, which I have posted before, but I want it to be prominent in a primary topic thread so it does not get lost in the middle of random posts. The video was created by Chris White, an 18 minute video that packs a ton of information in a short time, so take notes, but it thoroughly debunks the anti semetic view that the current state of Israel is made of fake Jews called the Ashkenazi Jews. Not only does this video debunk this ridiculous notion that spits in God's face regarding fulfilled prophecy, but I am going to have a few questions to ponder over, with other proofs that today's Israel is the Israel that has fulfilled prophecy. I am going to assume that most are aware of this history of the Balfour Declaration debates between 1914-1918, and the date Israel declared their independence in 1948, so I won't repeat that at any length here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXFUkvqnk9c The Two Myths I want to debunk are: 1) That the current state of Israel is not the fulfillment of prophecy and 2) That the church did not take over as the Israel. The Current State of Israel is the Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy The contention is in a nutshell (the myth can be read on several places on the forum here) is that Lord Rothschild created the nation of Israel, the the flag of Israel is the number of the beast, and the current Jews living in Israel now are not real Jews and therefore no prophecy has been fulfilled. This defies common sense and history of the development of Zionism prior to Rothchilds involvement. There were numerous Zionist congresses held by Jews in the land of Israel long before Rothschild was involved. Even if Rothschild was involved in the Illuminati (which he certainly is) and had evil intentions, that regathering of Jews to Israel is not contingent upon the spiritual life of Rothschild, Theodore Herzl, Lord Balfour, or anyone else. The Bible never said that the regathering of Israel depended on their faithfulness, the regathering of Israel was a PROMISE made in Ezekial 37, and Zechariah 14, and the salvation of Israel can only come AFTER they have been regathered. God did not gather Israel back together based on whether or not those who assisted could be judged by their professions of faith, but because God intends on working through Israel to demonstrates His faithfulness to Abraham, and his wrath upon the Christ rejecting world. Just because Rothschild was not a Bible believing Christian, does not mean God does not use heathens to accomplish His purpose. God used heathens to assist Israel in rebuilding Jerusalem during the time of Nehemiah (in getting approval from heathen kings for materials and permission to build). Artaxerxes, Ahasuerus, Darius, et al, were certainly not godly kings, but God worked through and around them to accomplish His purpose in the rebuilding of Israel and the temple. Since Paul clearly states that the Jew is blinded until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Rom 11:25), how could anyone expect a godly Jewish people to reestablish the nation of Israel? The very first mention of the word "holy" in the Bible, is a reference to the land of Israel (Exodus 3), and God called the land Holy before any Jew occupied it. This demonstrates that God separated the land first, and then gathered the people to occupy it. The Bible is clear that the land of Israel in the end times will be occupied by unbelieving Jews. Rev 2:2, 2:9 and 3:9. But Jesus praises the Jewish churches for trying them which say they are Jews and are not. To identify a false Jew, there has to be a true Jew as a standard of comparison. The entire book of Revelation revolves around the nation of Israel, and yet there are unbelieving Jews present in the land. Does the unfaithfulness of Israel negate the promises of God? (2 Tim 2:13). The gifts and calling of God are without repentance and can not be revoked (Rom 11:26). There is not one place in Scripture where the promise to regather Israel was based upon their acceptance of the Messiah FIRST. The fact is they are punished during the tribulation for their rejection of the Messiah, they will "finish the transgression" that was left out of the 70th week of Daniel. But they can not be purged unless they are regathered FIRST, and THEN they will be given the opportunity to receive Christ during the tribulation. And just a parenthetical comment here about whether it is a 7 year tribulation. Not only is it a 7 year period based on Daniels 70th week, but read Revelation ch 11-13 carefully. Revelation is NOT in chronological order, and if you notice the time lines given of the 2 witness and the beast, they total 7 years. Now notice the 2 witnesses are said to prophesy "a thousand two hundred and threescore days" Rev 11:3, now note that this ministry comes BEFORE the second woe of Rev 11:14. So these 2 witnesses preached for 3 1/2 years BEFORE THE SECOND WOE. Note that. Now notice the third woe is given in Rev 12:10 "woe unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea, for the devil is come down unto having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time". And how much time does he have? "and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months" Rev 13:5. Now do the math, 2 witnesses preach for 3 1/2 years BEFORE THE SECOND WOE, and the beast wreaks havoc for 3 1/2 year AFTER THE THIRD WOE. That's 7 years. Now back to Israel. Here's a common sense question for those that claim that the current Israeli's are not real Jews. Since it is clear that the land of Israel is now occupied by a nation that has a charter called Israel, and there's no disputing that the land traditionally known as Israel, is now called Israel again, if the real Jews show up somewhere, WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO SET UP ANOTHER LAND? If the "real Jews' are supposed to access the real Israel, and that Israel is already occupied, then where would the "real" Jews go?? And I'll get the following subject in a minute, but if it is claimed that the church is the real Jew, than WHY ISN'T THE CHURCH FLOCKING TO ISRAEL? And why is there no mention any where in the Bible of God regathering his CHURCH BACK TO ISRAEL? The argument is made that since the Jews are made of nothing but immigrants, that they are not real Jews. Well DUH, they were scattered all over the earth. A prophecy about "RE gathering" implies that had to be scattered. None of us American's that live here now call ourselves English-Americans, or French Americans or Russian Americans (funny that we force blacks to call themselves African Americans). We all refer to ourselves as AMERICANS even though every one of us are immigrants. The arguments above, and the video are sufficient to prove that the current nation of Israel is the nation that God regathered in fulfillment of numerous prophecies. The Church is Not Israel *GRRRRRRR all of my external links went to a NKJV. Please look them up in a KJV. The claim that the church has inherited all of the promises of the covenants to Israel and thus has replaced Israel is probably the most popular that unites all 3 views. All 3 views deny that God will restore the literal nation of Israel in the end times. The historicists and preterists even go so far as to blame the dispensationalist view of those who believe in the literal restoration of Israel on a Jesuit priest named Ribera in the 1500s. The claim is that the Catholic church (RCC) need a response to the claims that Revelation pointed to the RCC as the whore of Babylon, and thus Ribera created futurism which was then later passed on to John Darby, then to Scofield and Larkin. Not only is that claim historically absurd due to the early church "fathers" that also held to a futuristic view, but Ribera's commentary was never translated from Latin and there is no evidence that Darby ever read his works and he never referenced them. Furthermore, Ribera's only similarity from what I have read is that there will be a future kingdom, there is nothing remotely similar about Ribera's writings and the pre-millenial views. Moreover, the RCC has never believed in pre-millenialism or a pre-tribulation rapture, and those who hold to those views still identify the RCC as the beast and the antichrist so whatever views are attributed to Ribera, do not look like the scheme worked even if it were true. This subject has had entire volumes written about it so I won't do much justice to the subject here, but just a few short observations from Romans 9-11 which is a death blow to all 3 views regarding Israel: *Paul argues that "hath God cast away his people that he foreknew?" Romans 11:1-2. So clearly, the contention is that someone had been cast away due to the dispensation of grace. If the church had replaced Israel, this question would not even be up for debate with Paul. If the church replaced Israel, why would the question be asked if God cast away His church which He foreknew? Who was Paul referring to that was cast away and that God foreknew? Surely Paul is talking about the literal Hebrews, and he answers the question with a resounding NO. *Paul describes the nation of Israel as his brothers "according to the flesh". Rom 9:3. The church are not Paul's brothers according to the flesh, church members are made family by adoption through the Holy Spirit, not by promise of covenants with Israel. Rom 8:23. Thus Paul sets the entire tone of Romans chs 9-11 by identifying his discourse about Israel as being his physical lineage, not about promises given to the church by transference. *The other view often cite Luke 13 where Jesus cursed the fig tree as evidence that Israel will never be restored. However, Rom 11:15clearly shows that God will raise Israel as a nation "from the dead". Therefore Luke 13 can only be temporary as is confirmed by Paul in Romans 11:25. *Paul repeatedly makes distinctions between the Jews and Greeks (gentiles) throughout Scripture (Rom 1:16, Acts 28:29 which you will only find in a KJV). In Rom 11:13, Paul confirms that he is the apostle to the Gentiles and makes the distinction between his office over the Gentiles, and those who are of his flesh (v 14). *Revelation 7:4-8 clearly shows that during the tribulation, 144,000 Jews will be sealed. If those who profess that the church replaced Israel, then let me ask to which of the twelve tribes listed in Rev 7:5-8 do you belong to? *It is obvious from Daniel 9:25-27, 2 Thess 2:1-12, and Rev 11:1-2 that there will be temple rites practiced again during the tribulation, such as would not be practiced by the church. Furthermore, saints saved during the tribulation are said to "sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb". The church would not be singing the song of Moses, that is a clear indication that there will be literal, physical blood-line Jews present during the tribulation that are saved in accordance to God's promises to them in the OT and Paul's statement in Romans 11:26. * I mentioned this early but worth saying again. In Rev 2:2, 2:9, and 3:9, Jesus praises the Jewish churches for identify false Jews. First thing to note, is that in order to identifying a false Jew, there needs to be a true Jew as a standard of comparison. Secondly, there is nowhere in the epistles to the church where a Gentile believer is admonished to "try them which say they are Jews and are not". During the dispensation of grace, there is neither "Jew nor Greek" (Gal 3:27-28), but in Revelation 2-3, the emphasis is back on the Jew. Another thing to note about Romans 11:26 where Paul says "all Israel will be saved", if that was a reference to the church, would that not be redundant? The church is sealed right now (Eph 4:30, 1:13), there is no possible loss of that salvation so why would Paul make a reference to a future salvation of the church? That makes it obvious that Paul is referring to a future salvation of Israel as a nation, and not to a future salvation that is made up of Gentile believers. *If the church replaced Israel, why would Paul bother writing an entire book to HEBREWS, and James write a book "to the twelve tribes scattered abroad"? The church is under a completely different calling and set of prescriptions than the nation of Israel, and the confusion over Bible prophecy is the failure to understand the difference between the two. The church is a "mystery" not previously known, Eph 3:1-12, Col 1:26-27. Jesus said, "on this rock I will build my church", thus the church can not be Israel because the church is in a building process build separate from the nation of Israel which will culminate when the voice John hears that speaks as a trumpet (and notice this trumpet sounds before the 7 trumpets begin) tells the church to come up hither. Rev 4:1. Additional Signs That Validate The Current State of Israel The following are numerous signs that have occurred in Israel that show that God is fulfilling prophecy in the CURRENT land of Israel. *A PURE LANGUAGE: "I will restore until the peoples a pure language" Zeph 3:9. For nearly 2000 years, Israel has been scattered through out the earth, yet in the last 50 years, they have revived the Hebrew language spoken as it was 2000 years ago. *ISRAEL BECAME A NATION IN A DAY: Despite the reneging by Churchill on the Balfour Declaration that chopped up the land of Israel, and the opposition of their enemies, in ONE DAY Israel became a nation in fulfillment of Isaiah 66:8. Not only that, but when they were regathered, the ORDER that they would be gathered in was predicted. Isa 43:5-6, and 21. *LAND DIVIDED FOR GAIN. Winston Churchill and the UN and the Pope refused to allow the Jews all of the land that they claimed as part of their heritage with the borders listed in Deut and Joshua, and divided the land for gain. Joel 3:1-2. *ISRAEL BECOMES CENTER OF WORLD CONTENTION: Israel is said to be a stumbling block to all the nations and there can be no question today that all of the conflicts in the middle east revolve around the nation of Israel. Zech 12:3 *THE SHEKEL REVIVED: For 2000 years Israel had not national currency, and now that they have been regathered and restored as a nation, they have revived the currency of the shekel as predicted in Ezek 45:12-16. *ISRAEL BARREN LAND BECOMES PRODUCTIVE AGAIN: For 2000 years that land of Israel was barren, dessert, even under the occupation of Turks, and other Arabs and the Ottoman empire, there was never any agriculture in the land,and no forestation, but now Israel produces more fruit (particularly the grapes) to rival the largest producers in the world. Isaiah 26:6, Isaiah 35:1-2. There are scores of other prophecies that I could list here, but these demonstrate clearly that the CURRENT land of Israel not only fulfilled prophecy in it's regathering, but is CONTINUING to fulfill prophecy, and will be the center of prophecy during the coming great tribulation.