What Does the Bible Say About Israel Today?
Ezekiel 36 – 39
There is a good deal of talk today about peace in the Middle East. There is also a great deal of acrimony where Israel is concerned because of this alleged peace process. Insults and vitriol are routinely placed at the feet of Israel because of their alleged unwillingness to foster peace with the Arab nations that surround her.
I expect this talk from the world. I don’t expect it from people who call themselves Christians, yet this is increasingly becoming more of the norm.
People do not realize how they contradict themselves. On one hand they say that Israel controls the foreign policy of the United States. They say that “the Jews” control the media. On both counts, they are wrong.
Logically, if “the Jews” controlled the media, there would obviously be far less acrimony toward Israel than there is today. Instead, what do we have in the world? We have a tremendous sympathy toward Arabs and Muslims and particularly the world’s collective heart goes out to the “Palestinians” within the Land of Israel. The world believes they have gotten a raw deal and the fault lies with Israel.
Yet, Israel – or at least “the Jews” – controls the media supposedly. If so, how could Israel have allowed the tide to turn against them? People who believe that “the Jews” control the media obviously also believe that certain editorials that allegedly reveal the deep, dark secrets of Israel’s misbehavior, have managed to squeak those editorials in under the noses of “the Jews” that control the media. Does this even seem logical?
Whether it’s The New York Times, The Washington Post, or some other news outlet, it seems to me that the overriding percentage of articles that deal with Israel and the “Palestinians” are radically in favor of the “Palestinians,” not Israel.
In fact, if we look closely, we realize that at least in some cases, there are individual Jewish people who own and/or operate many of these media outlets. If so, why in almost all cases, are they totally opposed to Israel itself? Why are they not opposed to the “Palestinians”? There have been too many cases of managing editors (Jewish) who have come unglued with others because of their support for Israel. Many secular Jews do not want Israel to have what she has, and they believe she should give up what she has so that the world can finally come to a peaceful solution to the Middle East problem.
In fact, many Jews fully believe that if Israel would simply give the “Palestinians” what they want, then peace would be at hand. Why do they believe this? Because these (secular) Jews do not want to see another Jewish holocaust take place. They do not want to see a repeat of WWII under Hitler’s anti-Semitic regime.
Jews like George Soros – who incidentally worked for Hitler during WWII pointing the finger at other Jews – control a good portion of the media. Jews like Soros have no love loss for the state of Israel. They do not care whether it exists or does not exist, although when push comes to shove, they would prefer that it did not exist in the Middle East.
Soros and other secular Jewish individuals want peace with the Arabs/Muslims/”Palestinians.” They are willing to throw the nation of Israel under the bus because it doesn’t matter to them. These are the types of Jews who have control a large portion of the media. It is not the Netanyahus who control what the media does. It is the secular Jewish person, who has managed to position him/herself so that they can slant the news against Israel. They believe that if they do that enough, the world’s eye will not look favorably on the nation of Israel and Israel will then be forced to give up what they have now.
This is obviously a huge risk, because people like George Soros are still Jewish. They could receive some of the backlash, however, in Soros’ case, his own history is clear: he thinks of himself first and is absolutely not above turning on his own countrymen for personal gain. The world does not think of Soros as Jewish. They simply see him as a multi-billionaire who allegedly controls the Obama Administration.
Since it is clear that Mr. Obama is set against Israel, then we can also surmise that Soros is as well. There is no way that Mr. Obama would go against Soros and because of that, it is certainly safe to assume that Mr. Obama is in line with Soros’ thinking and his objectives.
So this idea that “the Jews” control the media and implicitly try to turn the world’s sympathies toward or in favor of Israel is absolutely absurd. Unfortunately, people will continue to believe it simply because throughout Ezekiel alone, we learn that Israel will be a sore spot to many nations until the end.
The reactionary viewpoint of many who on one hand believe “the Jews” control the media, while at the same time believe that Israel is fully in the wrong and the other nations are simply defending themselves is fully at odds with logic. That doesn’t matter to most though, because too many people have read and believe The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a work that essentially states that the elite (read: “the Jews”) have had this plan to take over the world and have their fingers in everything.
It doesn’t pan out. I fully believe that there is an “elite” that is trying to control things, but I also believe that the people who make up that “elite” consist of secular Jews AND secular Gentiles. George Soros is one of them in my opinion, and we know that he is without doubt not in favor of the nation of Israel.
The people who make up the elite simply want to collectively rule the world and the Bible is clear that they will get their chance to do that. In fact, out of this group, another will arise who will be the “8th of out of the 7” and the “11th out of the ten.” This is clear in Daniel and while that used to confuse me years ago, I understand what it means now. The Antichrist will pop up out of the group and will begin his grab for world dominance.
But let’s talk about Ezekiel 36 – 39 for a few moments because too many people who want to cast off Israel today seem to have no clue about this section (as well as numerous other sections) of God’s Word as it relates to Israel.
The first 35 chapters deal with aspects Israel’s history that has already occurred. We know this because we can simply compare these first 35 chapters with human history and see the events as they unfolded.
However, when we arrive at chapter 36, things change. We begin to look to the future. If for no other reason, we know that here in chapter 36, God through the prophet Ezekiel begins to speak of a complete regeneration that will occur with the nation of Israel.
Most agree that this is yet future. Unfortunately, there are those who allegorize Scripture at this point (solely because it is future), and immediately change from dealing with Israel to the Church. So, up until and including chapter 35, they agree that the Bible is referring to Israel (and actual Jews in this nation). But because of their penchant to allegorize or spiritualize Scripture, from chapter 36 onward, all of a sudden “Israel” becomes the Church, even though it is the same verbiage used, God is still speaking to Ezekiel the prophet, and He (God) is still talking about Ezekiel’s “people” who are Jewish. This does not matter to those who spiritualize the text though because it makes perfect sense to them. Does it? Not really, but that doesn’t stop them.
Chapter 36 of Ezekiel begins by talking about the Mountains of Israel. Here, God is not even talking about people. He is talking about a physical place; a landmark, if you will. The Mountains of Israel pretty much run vertically through just about the entire land of Israel, right through the center.
The Mountains of Israel have been the centerpiece of many events that have occurred in actual Israel’s true history. The opening verses of chapter 36 tell us that God says to Ezekiel that he should prophecy to these mountains. This is not allegorical. This is literal. Ezekiel is to prophecy to these mountains.
Notice, God does this because the enemy has spoken against these mountains (v. 2). It is because the enemy has spoken against these mountains, God steps in. God continues by stating, “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people” (vv. 2-3).
God is speaking TO the Mountains of Israel here. Currently, the Arabs believe that they are entitled to this same land. God says, nope, not on His watch. Yet, these nations persevere and have been lobbing rockets into Israel for decades. Every time Israel has given into them and “returned” land, these same Arabs simply move into that newly returned land and continue lobbing rockets.
God then states clearly what He plans on doing and He specifically says that He is referring to the Mountains of Israel, and the ravines and the valleys, and the areas that have become waste to the cities that many have forgotten about. God is not talking about ONE Jewish person here. He is referring only to the LAND that He gave the nation of Israel centuries ago.
Starting in verse 5, God proclaims that because of His jealousy, He has spoken against all the other nations because of the way they treated what – the Jews? – no, it is because of the way these nations have trampled HIS Land. “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.” Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt,” (vv. 6-11).
Once again, God is speaking about the physical land areas of the nation of Israel. He has grown tired of the many nations running amok, doing whatever they think they can do HIS Land. This is the situation today.
It is not until verse 11 that God begins to speak of actual people. But God confirms the fact that He has heard the taunts and insults of all the nations (and that currently includes the United States under the Obama Administration). Because of this, God promises that the Land will have people in it and the nation that belongs there – Israel – will no longer stumble (cf. v. 15).
Then, beginning in verse 16, God confirms to Ezekiel that the NATION of Israel defiled His Land when they lived there. Because of that, God poured out His wrath (v. 18) on “them” (the nation) and He scattered them among the nations because they became idolaters just like their neighbors. It was God who scattered His people (v. 19). He judged them.
Notice also that these same people – after God scattered them among the nations – continued to profane His Name. Notice – and this is EXTREMELY important – that in verses 21-22, God says “But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.” (emphasis added)
The other day, someone read one of my blogs and wrote me saying that he was confident that today’s Israel is not the promised people. I pointed out to him that his opinion has nothing to do with the truth of Scripture. The reality is that God seems to be fulfilling the latter end of Ezekiel and because of that, He is concerned most with His Name. The people of Israel are secondary.
What people fail to realize is that Israel is the only nation God ever created. The rest of the nations simply happened based on Genesis 11 and elsewhere. Throughout history, they’ve changed hands and names, but Israel was specifically created by God as part of His plan of redemption. Though He has judged the nation and killed many people within it throughout Israel’s history, one thing He has never done is destroyed the nation itself.
Today, the secular nation of Israel is made up of Jews. Just as Paul explains in Romans 9-11, simply being Jewish does not guarantee salvation, or that the specific Jew is part of the true nation of Israel. This is the same with the Church. Just because someone attends a physical church, does not necessarily mean they are part of the spiritual Church. God has always kept for Himself a Remnant of believers within the nation of Israel.
Today, that Remnant is hidden within the true Church. Once the Church is gone (through the Rapture, with the Jews in the Church who are Christians), God will then turn His attention back to the nation and people of Israel and begin refining them and, as He did many times in the Old Testament, will purge the rebels from the nation. What He will be left with is a nation that is completely loyal to Him because their eyes will be open, and they will have realized their need for salvation that can only be found in Jesus.
Today, the nation of Israel is a nation, a group. God continues to protect Israel for no other reason than for the sake of His holy Name. He protects that Land over there for the same reason – for the sake of His holy Name.
Chapter 36 of Ezekiel continues to tell us that God began re-gathering His people back to that Land and He emphasizes the fact that He does this solely for the sake of His Name. When He is through with Israel, He will have His loyal remnant and then “…I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes,” (cf. v. 23).
People mistakenly believe that God does everything He does in the Middle East because of the Jewish people. Nope. He does what He does for the sake of His holy Name. He will USE the nation of Israel to return glory to His Name. He will use the nation of Israel to show the world that the promises He made thousands of years ago to Abraham will be fulfilled and then will NOT be fulfilled in the Church, but through Israel.
The ONLY way God can restore absolute glory to His Name is by using Israel (both the land AND the people) to do it. Why? Because the nation of Israel brought dishonor and disgrace to His Name in the first place. People who say that Ezekiel 36 onward is referring to the Church have no clue.
It is clear from Chapter 36 alone that God will restore His Name. While there are many “tares” that look like they are part of the true Church, they are not. The true Church has not, and did not slander God’s Name. The true Church is already seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2) and therefore does NOT need refining or purging. It was ISRAEL that slandered His Name. The world will pay attention when Israel is restored to the Land and they ultimately turn in true worship to the very God they rejected 2,000 years ago.
You see, what is fascinating about Israel is that it changes with each generation. To God though, He sees a NATION, not individual people. God still holds Israel – the nation – responsible for slandering His Name. He still holds that nation responsible for rejecting the Messiah. Yet, the Jewish people alive today were not alive during the Old Testament times, nor were they the ones who actually rejected Jesus and nailed Him to the cross. It was the nation of Israel through the leaders of Israel who did these things and it is the nation of Israel that has been judged because of these things.
But God – having judged the nation of Israel in the past – will restore this same nation (though the people in it change, it is STILL the same nation) – to their former glory. Why will God do this? Because He is planning on restoring the glory and honor to His Name that the NATION (through their leaders) of Israel destroyed long ago.
It is all very simple, except to those who are unable to see it. These people either do not study Scripture or they tend to allegorize what they do study. If not that, then they spend too much time reading secular news from the liberal media. What has the secular news have to say about God’s Word? Nothing good.
Folks, God WILL restore Israel’s glory and He will do it for one reason and one reason only: for the sake of His holy Name. That is the reason. There is NO other reason at all. It is not because He loves Israel and hates the rest of the world. It is not because He loves Jews and hates Arabs. This is not true. He loves everyone equally. It is because He will restore the lost glory and honor to His holy Name and He has been doing it on the back of the nation of Israel.
We will deal with this more as we go through the remainder of Ezekiel 36, and then get into 37, 38, and 39. It is extremely important that people – especially Christians – stop looking at things through human eyes and begin to understand what God is doing and why He is doing it.
This nation of the United States, is on a crash course with God. We are moving in the absolute wrong direction. At every turn, Mr. Obama is throwing Israel under the bus. In his last speech, he clearly said that Israel should return to PRE-1967 borders. Then, he lied about that and said, “What I meant was that both the Palestinians and the Jews should decide their own borders.” If he had meant that, he could have easily said that, but he did not say that.
God will not sit idly by and watch human beings divvy up HIS LAND. It simply will not happen. According to Ezekiel 36, God put Israel out of the land, but then began bringing them back. “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God,” (cf. vv. 24-28; emphasis added).
It seems clear enough that God is the one who brought the Jews back to the Land in 1948, yet people argue about this or that and say the U.N. shouldn’t have done this, or it was Britain that did it, etc. According to Scripture, GOD did it and certainly He used nations and the situation, but ultimately, He takes credit for it. The people who firmly believe that Israel (the nation) has no right to the Land better be extremely careful. If Scripture is correct (which it is), then those who stand in opposition to Israel right now, are in effect, opposing God as well and that is not a good place to be.
Verses 24 – 28 describes a process that unfolds for us in the latter portion of Ezekiel 36 and especially chapter 37. It is a process, not an instantaneous happening or event.
The first part of this began in 1948 when God began re-gathering Jewish people back to the Land. Why did He do that? Because it was the first step in Him ultimately returning glory and honor to His holy Name.
You people who are opposed to Israel had better humble yourselves and repent because you are sinning by standing opposed to God and His will. If you are unable to see that, it is because you have never asked Him to open your eyes to the truth. Please do so now.
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