[On December 6, 2017,] President Donald Trump fulfilled another campaign promise. In so doing, he did something no world leader before him has done. He officially recognized the reality of the past 3,000+ years — that Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. By declaring that the United States recognizes and affirms that reality, he broke ranks with every other nation on earth. It was, indeed, a courageous and historic moment.
Now, we wait to see how the other nations of the Middle East, the European Union, Muslims, and the rest of the world will respond. We know for certain that many are angry and some threaten retaliation. But I know our President did the right thing. And I believe that God feels that way, too. You see, He promised that He would bless those who bless His people. And by unequivocally standing with Israel, I believe the United States has blessed God’s people.
What the world does not understand, as many Christians don’t, is that the Jews share a very special relationship with the Creator. With Him, they have a covenant that supersedes any political arrangements or efforts by men or the governments of men. To ignore the provisions of that covenant is to risk the repercussions God Himself promises.
To understand God’s plan for the world, it is vital to understand what, at first, may seem like a dry subject – covenants. In the Bible, God makes two kinds of covenants with human beings – conditional and unconditional. A conditional covenant is predicated on God saying to man, “If you will.” An unconditional covenant is predicated on God saying to man, “I will.”
Conditional covenants are like the contracts we humans make among ourselves. “If you give me a certain amount of money, then I will give you a car.” God makes conditional covenants, too. He made one with Israel through Moses. In Exodus 19, He said, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
Did they obey His voice and keep His covenant? No. God offered them a deal, but they didn’t fulfill their part of the bargain. Does God then have to fulfill His part? No. A conditional covenant means, “If you do this, then I’ll do that.”
But God also made unconditional covenants. In an unconditional covenant, God simply says, “I will.” Period. Once such a covenant goes into effect, there are no conditions that have to be fulfilled by human beings.
God’s covenant with Abraham – what theologians call “The Abrahamic Covenant” – is an unconditional covenant. Through the years God reiterates and expands it, but He never changes the unconditional nature of it. Indeed, He cannot change it or He would be a liar and the Bible says in Titus 1:2 and elsewhere, “God… cannot lie.” To add other conditions later would be like moving the goal posts just as the football team is about to score a touchdown. It wouldn’t be honest. God is not tricky. He’s trustworthy. Once the covenant went into effect, nothing could change it. Later, God would reiterate the covenant and expand on it, but He never changed the nature of it, nor did He add conditions to it. Those who claim He did, have a fundamental problem. They’re saying that God lied.
Psalm 105 says, “He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. And then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, ‘To you will I give the land of Canaan As the portion of your inheritance.'” This verse calls it a “covenant forever” and “an everlasting covenant.” If it depended on frail human beings, the Word of God could not call it “everlasting” because somewhere along the line human beings fail, as [the people of] Israel proved again and again.
The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the great dividing lines of scripture. Disbelieving it won’t change God’s Word, but it will change a person in profound ways. Among other things, he won’t understand what’s going on in the world.
Israel’s Unchanging Future
Because this is an unconditional covenant, it cannot end. It remains in effect today and forever. That makes it fundamental to Bible prophecy. Whatever else happens, you can bet the farm that God will keep His covenant with Abraham.
“I WILL” STATEMENTS
So if you want to look into the future, or have a better understanding of the present, look at the things God promised to Abraham. He expressed them in a series of direct and implied “I will” statements. “I will make you a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great. I will make you a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. I will curse those who curse you. Through you, I will bless all the families of the earth.”
Romans 11:1 succinctly asks and answers the most pertinent point. “Has God cast away His people? Certainly not!” That’s just one of many New Testament passages refuting “replacement theology” and affirming that God’s covenant with Abraham is still in effect.
Not only does this covenant help us understand what’s happening in the Middle East right now, it is foundational to the central meaning of all the Bible’s teaching – from the identity and purpose of Jesus, to “salvation by faith alone,” to Christ’s coming to set up a literal thousand year kingdom on earth, to Christ’s secretly snatching up all believers to heaven before the great Tribulation begins.
(above transmitted by Hal Lindsey – 12/8/2017)
Jerusalem has never not been the capital of Israel. Not only since the formal founding of modern day Israel in 1948, but thousands of years before that. Nevertheless, the mainstream media went into a frenzy. Reuters said that it “reversed decades of U.S. policy” and imperiled “Middle East peace efforts and (upset) the Arab world and Western allies alike.” And it got all those calamities into just the first sentence!
- Saudi Arabia called the move “irresponsible and unwarranted.”
- Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei said Trump’s action was the result of “incompetence and failure…” Huh?
- The EU’s top diplomat said it would “undermine” EU peace efforts. It’s a little hard to undermine something that has already been dead and buried for years!
- Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh routinely declared that the move was “an uncalculated gamble that will know no limit to the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim reaction.” So what isn’t?
Truth be known, though there were a few violent protests in Gaza and the West Bank, the reaction has not been as bad as the response to last summer’s decision by Israel to install metal (read that “weapons”) detectors at the entrances to Temple Mount. And that was intended to protect everyone’s safety! Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared it “a momentous day….” He said that in Jerusalem’s “extraordinary history and over the millennia, you can cite a few significant milestones. Yesterday’s statement by President Trump is such a milestone.”
Where is the support for Israel?
Ironically, just as America’s support for Israel is reaching new heights, its support by young evangelical Christians is reaching new lows. One key to U.S. support for Israel has been the evangelical Christian community. But among younger evangelicals, that support may be diminishing. A recent survey reveals that, among evangelicals 18-34, 58% have a positive view of Israel. That compares with 70% of those over 50 and 77% of those over 65. Those aren’t huge differences, but they do show a definite trend downward. In view of the findings, Joel Rosenberg noted, “If you extrapolate that, in 10 years you have a crisis, but now we have a challenge.”
In commenting on these findings, The Jerusalem Post noted, “Younger people are less familiar with the Bible and increasingly moved by social justice concepts. That means they are easy targets for pro-Palestinian narratives.” And do they have some narratives!
In fact, Muslims are masters of myth. Sometimes Arab propaganda is subtle. At other times, it can be so outrageous, so preposterous, and so imaginative that you have to marvel at the sheer inventiveness. Here’s an example. One of the Mideast myths cut from whole cloth is the notion that Jerusalem is actually an Arab city. The Arab propaganda machine has managed to convince world media, diplomatic establishments, and many in academia that Jerusalem is as important to Muslims as it is to Jews. While it’s true that Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine are important to Islam, and they’re located in Jerusalem, they were actually built on top of the Jews’ old Temple — which existed thousands of years earlier.
Jerusalem was never an important city to Muslims. In fact, when Mohammed started Islam, in order to attract Jews and Christians, he suggested that daily prayers be directed to Jerusalem. After 18 months, that proved a bust. So he changed direction. Since then, Muslims have prayed in the direction of Mecca — the undisputed holiest city in Islam.
Long after Mohammed was dead, a legend arose that he ascended into the seventh heaven from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Koran only says that the event took place at the “uttermost mosque.” But there was no mosque in Jerusalem at that time.
At the time of Mohammed’s death, Medina was the farthest mosque. In fact, there was a Christian church occupying Temple Mount when Mohammed died. Yet the Palestinians want to rename the Western Wall — or Wailing Wall — the “Buraq Wall” in honor of Mohammed’s horse (on which he rode into heaven). There is no historical evidence that Mohammed ever set foot in Jerusalem.
Al-Aqsa mosque may, indeed, be Islam’s third holiest site, but there is nothing about the city of Jerusalem that would even compare it to Islam’s holiest cities of Mecca and Medina. British historian and Persian scholar, Christopher Sykes, wrote, “To the Muslims, it is not Jerusalem, but a certain site in Jerusalem which is venerated. To a Muslim, there is a profound difference between Jerusalem and Mecca and Medina. The latter are holy places containing holy sites. Apart from the hallowed rock, Jerusalem has no major Islamic significance.”
Until 1948, that is. When the Jews declared the modern state of Israel, with Jerusalem as their capital,
“…suddenly, for the first time in history, the Arabs discovered and revealed to the world the vehement, passionate, almost desperate, accents of a deep-rooted, long-standing and undying attachment to Jerusalem.” (Samuel Katz)
Muslim attachment to Jerusalem came about in the last 100 years. But for the Jews, it has been 3,000 years. No people are as connected to a city as Jews to Jerusalem. That connection is historical, religious, physical, emotional, and spiritual. For hundreds of years, Jews around the world have ended the Passover Seder with the words, “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Despite what the UN, the EU, or the Arab world might say, God Himself made Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel.
transmitted by Hal Lindsey – 12/15/2017