Archive for March, 2016

Why does satan hate Israel?

Monday, March 14th, 2016

“Get out of your country,

From your family and from your father’s house,

To a land that I will show you.”

Genesis 12:1 NKJV

 

On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:

“To your descendants I have given this land…”

Genesis 15:18

 

“Also I give to you and your descendants after you

the land in which you are a stranger,

all the land of Canaan,

as an everlasting possession;

and I will be their God.”

Genesis 17:8

 

The world is in constant uproar about the land that God promised to Abraham, the land of the Canaanites, a tiny nation called “Israel”… A narrow tract of land, smaller than the state of New Jersey, amid a sea of Arab nations with over 500 times the land mass of Israel (yes, over 500!) And yet with all that land (and oil, and riches), many Muslim nations have seemed intent on dispossessing Israel from that little strip of land which arose from the ashes of the Holocaust. In fact, Muslim leaders (from Arafat to Ayatollahs to Ahmadinejad to terrorist groups like ISIS and Hezbollah) have called for Israel’s complete annihilation. For instance:

“The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else.” ~ Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinians

“We will not bend or fail until the blood of every last Jew from the youngest child to the oldest elder is spilt to redeem our land!”  ~ Arafat 

How would YOU like to go through a “peace process” with someone whose stated goal is the destruction of your nation and the death of your ethnic group?

Question: WHY? Why is that small parcel of land so important to the Muslim world, so prioritized on international agendas, so featured on our nightly news?

The answer has nothing to do with politics, religion, oil, pr money… it’s all spiritual, and it’s about covenants God made centuries ago with Abraham and his descendants, the Jewish people.

 Thinking Biblically, not worldly

“We know that… the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”

1 john 5:19 NKJV

To understand the truth about Israel, we must first realize:

  1. Not everything the nightly news has told you about Israel is true. It’s biased, out of balance, failing to tell the whole truth, because it has an agenda behind it.  

When the Apostle John wrote that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one,” that includes the media systems of this world (I’m not suggesting that there aren’t good people involved in many points and positions, but stating that the system is under the enemy’s sway).

  1. Realize: the same American media that tells you “Israel is a bad aggressor” also tells you that murdering unborn babies is a woman’s inalienable and precious rightthat homosexuality and “transgenderism” are completely normal* (and need to be taught as such to our children in grade school)… and that all those who dare to still believe what God’s Word says are prejudiced hate mongers. The world has believed satan’s lies.

(*Friends: God loves us all so much that He tells us honestly in His Word what sin is ~ whether lying, pride, hatred, adultery, homosexual behavior, or any other – and we’re all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and grace. Telling any type of sinner “You’re fine – your behavior is OK with God!” is really an act of hatred, because ALL of us need the good news that 1) yes, we’re sinners, but 2) God will forgive anyone who repents and trusts in Jesus).  

  1. The real battle isn’t Muslim vs. Jew, not Israel vs. Arab nations, not against flesh and blood at all… The real battle is an age-old spiritual fight on the part of satan and his minions to interrupt God’s plan of redemption.
  • satan tried it in Pharaoh’s day by drowning all male Jewish babies in the Nile River (Ex. 1:22) – and why? Because he knew Messiah would come from the Jews, so he attempted to destroy their lineage (no Jewish males = no Redeemer = no redemption).
  • He tried it through Haman (see: book of Esther), inciting a plan to annihilate all the Jews in the known world, with the same goal (interrupt their lineage, prevent the Messiah’s coming).
  • He tried it again after Jesus was born, using King Herod to slaughter Jewish boys with hopes of killing Jesus (Matthew 2:16).

He found other vehicles to attack the Jews throughout history – most tragically, inciting hatred on the part of many Early Church fathers against the Jewish people, which trickled down into the theology of the Catholic Church (and still informs much Protestant theology toward the Jews today, teaching that the Church has replaced the Jews rather than having been “grafted into the olive tree” as Romans 11 teaches, that national Israel is illegitimate, and that God has broken His covenants with Abraham).

The full fruit of this prejudiced theology was seen in the mistreatment and even slaughter of Jews by those who named the name of Christ – during the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Russian Pogroms, and most recently the Holocaust.

If you are one who believes Replacement Theology, you must realize: you have inherited the teaching of those Popes who hated the Jews, of anti-Semitic theologians who called for the torture and murder of Jews and who claimed that it was impossible for a Jew to receive salvation because they were “the eternal Judas;” and you have unwittingly embraced the theology of the Holocaust – for without this teaching that God has rejected the Jews, Hitler could never have convinced a Christian nation (90+%) to cooperate with his demonic schemes.

Hitler’s final solution = satan’s last chance

  • In WWII, satan used a demonized man named Hitler to orchestrate “the final solution” ~ the attempted total annihilation of world Jewry (which resulted in the slaughter of 6 million defenseless Jews).
  • But WHY? If Jesus had already come as the Lamb of God, why would satan still seek to destroy the Jews (especially if the Jews no longer matter, as Replacement Theology teaches) – wasn’t satan defeated at the Cross? Because:
  • satan understands the prophecies, and he knows what happens at Jesus’ second coming:
  • The Lamb of God returns as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and He’s kicking butt and taking names (for my overseas readers, that’s an American saying that means “He will show up, and conquer His foes in no uncertain terms”).

satan realizes that the Messiah is returning to Israel, and to a Jewish people who will see His return and “mourn for Him as one mourns for their only son” (Zech. 12:10), that God will “pour out a spirit of grace and supplication upon them,” and that the full spiritual restoration of Israel will mean “life from the dead” for the world (Romans 11:15).

In essence: when Jesus returns to Israel, it’s GAME OVER, SATAN! Thus, he still seeks to destroy Israel – because if there’s no nation of Israel, there’s nowhere for Jesus to return.

And THAT, my friends, is why Israel is a point of contention on the world stage, why the American media focuses on every perceived injustice by Israel (while largely ignoring attempted genocides taking place against Christians by Muslim groups across Africa and the Middle East), and why there will never, ever be a successful “peace process” in the Middle East until Messiah has returned to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4, Acts 1:7, 11-12). Until the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) comes, there will be no peace – because satan won’t give up without a fight.

BDS: satan’s latest trick

That’s why the current “BDS” (Boycott, Divest, & Sanction) movement is so pervasive on college campuses, in the media, and even being endorsed by some well-meaning but misinformed Christian leaders. The proponents of the BDS movement present a very compelling narrative – that Israel is an aggressive, illegitimate, apartheid state, occupying land it stole from indigenous Palestinians – but it’s not true. It is a story based on half-truths, misrepresentations, and flat-out lies. When one does the homework, one realizes that the BDS narrative is simply the latest in a long line of satanic ploys to try to undermine and eventually destroy Israel.

SO IS ISRAEL PERFECT? Certainly not! But let me ask you: is your nation perfect? Find any racial prejudice, any mistreatment of people groups, any wrongs in your nation’s past? Of course– and those wrongs matter to God, and must be dealt with honestly and righteously. But does that mean your nation has no right to exist? By that criterion, NO nation would exist, because every nation has done some wrongs.

The stuff news networks won’t report:

There’s so much GOOD news that one could write about Israel which goes largely ignored in the media – how Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East (her enemies are religious dictatorships), that Arab Israelis are full citizens (some are even members of the Israeli Parliament); that Israeli hospitals have treated (for free) and nurtured back to health the Arab victims of the Palestinian Authority (which is notoriously brutal to its own people); that a dry and arid wasteland in 1948 has “blossomed like the rose” (Is. 35:1), is now called “the breadbasket of Europe” and provides much of the fruits and vegetables for that continent; that Israel has developed new methods of irrigation and water desalination that they share with Third World countries, resulting in the saving of countless lives by providing clean drinking water and the ability to farm their lands… And so much more!

And MOST OF ALL: that Arab Christians and Jewish Believers worship Jesus together – in unity and love – in congregations across the land of Israel!

And speaking of Jewish Believers – Jews are coming to faith in Jesus as the Messiah at a rate totally unprecedented in all of human history. IN FACT: according to missiologists (those who study and track the advance of the Gospel worldwide), more Jews have come to faith since 1967 than in the previous 1900 years combined. We are living in a prophetic hour, one that Jesus Himself foretold as a sign of His nearing return:

And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles

until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Luke 21:24

In 1967 Israel (after being attacked by a vast army of Arab nations) defeated her attackers and recaptured Jerusalem, and the period Jesus called the “times of the Gentiles” began to come to its fulfillment (see also Romans 11, especially vv. 25-26 in reference to Jesus’ prophecy).   What does this mean for you and me? That we are living in the most exciting season of human history, the period leading up to Jesus’ return!

HOWEVER… if you don’t understand Israel’s central role in God’s end-time plans, you’ll be unaware of the “signs of the times” which Jesus commanded us to watch for – because Israel is God’s prophetic timepiece, and Jerusalem is “the city of the great King” (according to Jesus, Matthew 5:35).

Barely scratched the surface…

There’s so much more I could say… for instance:

  • Israel is the only nation ever to be wiped out (by the Roman Empire), spend 2,000 years off the world map, then be reborn as a nation (in one day, Isaiah 66:8)
  • Hebrew is the only ancient language to mysteriously reappear as the national language of a modern nation (and yet, modern Hebrew is remarkably faithful to the ancient language of our Bible)

And so very much more…

God loves Jews AND Arabs!

My friends, satan still seeks to turn hearts against the Jews – in fact, the harshest opposition I’ve ever received in ministry has come from Christians whose heart for the Arabs led them to bear prejudice and hatred against the Jews. They had love for the Arab peoples (and so do I! God is my witness how I pray for the Arab peoples to receive salvation)… But in the name of loving Arabs, they hated Jews. GOD FORBID!

Let us make it very plain: this is not the heart of the Father, not the heart of Jesus – it’s from the heart of the evil one. In God’s Kingdom, NO prejudice is ever accepted or excused, toward any people group, period.

Been there, done that

If you find yourself challenged by what I’ve written, perhaps bothered by the notion that God still loves the Jews or that they are still special to Him, that Israel could actually be a strategic and central part of God’s prophetic plans… then you’re in the very same spot I found myself in 1994.

I had unwittingly inherited some “latent anti-Semitism” – a subtle sense of ethnic superiority over the Jews – that was laced into my religious upbringing. I was raised Lutheran, and Martin Luther – although mightily used by God in many ways – was also a raving anti-Semite. Sadly, Reformation theology failed to reform the Church’s attitude and teaching about the Jewish people, and that still affects many denominations to this day.

I was offended by the notion that the Jews were still important to God… Until God confronted me through His Word – and I spent several months immersing myself in every passage in Scripture (starting with the New Testament) that talked about Israel, the Jews, and God’s plans for them. The result: I replaced man’s religious ideas with the truth of God’s Word; and I repented for my pride. In the process, I went from a heart of arrogance toward Jews to a heart of love, intercession, and serving.

So if you’re feeling as I did in 1994, I want to encourage you: set aside the teachings of man, and go straight to the Word of God. Search it out, read it in context, letting Scripture interpret Scripture – and see if the things I’ve written are true. Then if you still have questions, please write me – I’d love to hear from you.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week, and may He shine His light and love in your life, 

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2016

 PS ~ For study on the rebirth of modern Israel, there’s a well-researched and beautifully produced documentary called “The Hope – the Rebirth of Israel.” It’s well worth the watch – I highly recommend it:  http://www.cbn.com/special/thehope/

Double PS ~ want to do more study?  Check out Dr. Michael Brown’s excellent book, “Our Hands Are Stained with Blood”.  It’s an honest and thoroughly-researched treatment of the tragic history of the Church and the Jewish people 

Triple PS ~ for more about the American Church and our need to get ready for Jesus’ return, check out my book “The Return: an End Time Epistle to the Church in America” (available on Amazon, etc.)