ISRAEL IN BIBLE PROPHESY:
Is It All Sunshine And Wealth?
By Jan Lilleby
Just to give you an idea of what it is all about – we need only to read Deut 28!
There the greatest prophet of God in the Old Testament, Moses, told Israel to choose.
Would they choose the blessing or the curse?
These were the two real alternative choices which God through the ministry of Moses laid before the people of Israel in the wilderness. They would have all ‘sunshine and wealth’ if they obeyed God’s commandments and listened to the voice of their Lord, but if they chose the curse it would be utter darkness and destruction and disasters. In this mentioned Bible chapter about 80% of the verses warn of the latter, while just 20% speaks of blessings – however so marvelous. Moses obviously knew, through the prophetic power he had from God that the people would go astray and come under the terrifying curse, turning against God and Christ.
Yeah, but whoa!… can anybody be so foolish as to choose the worst over the best? Many among you might ask. And Moses really spelled it out for them, right?
Yes, unfortunately, history goes to show just that: Israel ultimately chose to reject Jesus Christ (the blessing) in the times of the apostles, and the Acts history testifies to us that Israel thus fell away from God as His nation, and the curse and destruction were cast upon them. The whole world knows this now, and what took place in 70 A.D. when the Romans crushed and obliterated Israel.
But it is well known that Israel had behaved just like this always – during the previous times under their kings, judges and prophets. Stephen got it right on, when he said (Acts 7:51), You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers, so you!”
The ultimate Biblical conclusion on what happened to Israel is best found in Acts 28:27 – uttered by Isaiah 6 originally but repeated by Paul as the final words spoken to Israel in the Bible:
“…they would not repent, so that I the Lord could heal them (the land)”.
In the Bible we cannot find any apostle or prophet who spoke to Israel since Paul uttered these judgmental final ‘goodbye’ words against Israel and the nation’s devastating unbelief as they rejected Messiah Jesus.
Heaven has been, and still is, entirely mute and shut away from earth. Israel is still out there in the dispersion; only 35% of the world’s Jews are in the land. This says a lot.
One of the curses listed in Deut 28 is, ‘The heavens above your head shall be brass, and the earth under you as iron!’ ( v. 23)
They are now suffering from what fell over them when the curse-concept in Deut 28 was effectuated. It will actually last up until Jesus come down from heaven to rule Israel as their Messiah King.
Deut 28: 1-14 – God’s conditions for pouring blessings over Israel were that they in all things took heed to and listened to the voice of their God, the Lord. Obedient to His law and ordinances. Verses 1 and 2.
3 Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading trough.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
9 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
11 And the Lord shall make you have a surplus of prosperity, through the fruit of your body, of your livestock, and of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.
12 The Lord shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
13 And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day and are watchful to do them.
14 And you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Deut 28:15-68 is a very harsh and sinister upsetting reading – to anyone. Not the least because of the detailed descriptions of the punishments, horrors and disasters contained under this curse against the disobedient Israel. As mentioned above, the curse is found in 80% of the verses in Deut 28!
15 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day, then ALL THESE CURSES (my emphasizing) shall come upon you and overtake you:
My remarks: In the continuing verses with its descriptions of a long series of curses/accidents/disasters and plagues, we find that much of those had its fulfillment up through the Bible History. We can read about this in almost all of the Old Testament prophet’s books. However, a great number of curses/disasters will not come to pass until it is the Great Tribulation in Israel in near future. It is an arch sin with the Christian-Zionists in our time that they almost exclusively keep pointing to what God has promised of blessings for the nation. They try to hide the fact that a great misfortune and disaster should overtake them if they rejected Messiah Jesus, like we read in the Acts. Christian-Zionism is therefore proven to have built their ‘theology’ upon false interpretation of Old and New Testament scriptures whenever Israel is mentioned. They falsely say that for Israel there will now be ‘only sunshine and wealth!’
16 Cursed shall you be in the city and cursed shall you be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading trough.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, of your land, of the increase of your cattle and the young of your sheep.
19 Cursed shall you be when you come in and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 The Lord shall send you curses, confusion, and rebuke in every enterprise to which you set your hand, until you are destroyed, perishing quickly because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken me.
21 The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land into which you go to possess.
22 The Lord will smite you with consumption, with fever and inflammation, fiery heat, sword and drought, blasting and mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.
23 The heavens over your head shall be brass and the earth under you shall be iron.
24 The Lord shall make the rain of your land powdered soil and dust; from the heavens it shall come down upon you until you are destroyed.
25 The Lord shall cause you to be struck down before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them, and you shall be tossed to and fro and be a terror among all the kingdoms of the earth.
26 And your dead body shall food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away.
27 The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and the tumors, the scurvy and the itch, from which you cannot be healed.
28 The Lord will smite you withy madness and blindness and dismay of heart.
29 And you shall grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness. And you shall not prosper in your ways; and you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to save you.
30 You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but not gather its grapes.
31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away before your face and not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to help you.
32 Your sons and daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all the day, and there shall be no power in your hands to prevent it. (Think of the great abduction to Babylon in the time of Jeremiah! My remark)
33 A nation which you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your land and of all your labors, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually.
34 So that you shall be driven mad by the sights which your eyes shall see.
35 The Lord will smite you on the knees and on the legs with a sore boil that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 The Lord shall bring you and your king whom you have set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone. (This happened repeatedly in the times of Hoshea and the Assyrian king – which we find in II Kings 17:4, 6; and when Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, took Israel in the time of Jeremiah – 24:12, 14; – 25:7, 11.)
37 And you shall become an amazement, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples to which the Lord will lead you.
38 You shall carry much seed out into the field and shall gather little in, for the locust shall consume it.
39 You shall plant vineyards and dress them but shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them.
40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory but you shall not anoint yourselves with the oil, for your olive trees shall drop their fruit.
41 You shall beget sons and daughters but shall not enjoy them, for they shall go into captivity. (See my remarks above on the Babylonian king’s abduction of the Israelites). Daniel was one of those sons who was taken captive, as we know from Book of Daniel, and also his friends mentioned.
42 All your trees and the fruit of your ground shall the locust possess.
43 The stranger among you shall mount up higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower.
44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 All these curses shall come upon you and shall pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.
46 They shall be upon you for a sign and for a wonder, and upon your descendants forever.
(My remarks: The remaining verses below are mainly dealing with that which took place under the times right after the apostles (we do not have any date of death in regard to Peter, Paul and others), as the Roman armies responded to the Jewish uproar in 66 to 70 AD, ending with disaster for Israel. Notice verse 48, below – mentioning the iron yoke – knowing from Daniel’s book 2:36 and on, that iron in the king’s dream of the statue or image foretold of a kingdom taking over from the Greek – Rome symbolized as the iron legs)
47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of heart for the abundance of all with which He had blessed you.
48 Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you (this can also happen in the future Great Tribulation in Israel! My remarks) – from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you shall not understand.
50 A nation of unyielding countenance who will not regard the person of the old or show favor to the young.
51 And shall eat the fruit of your cattle and the fruit of your ground until you are destroyed, who also shall not leave you grain, new wine, oil, the increase of your cattle or the young of your sheep until they have caused you to perish.
52 (My remark: Here is a typical description of what actually took place as the Roman armies of Vespasian and Titus, his son, besieged Jerusalem and other important places 66 to 70 AD, and this includes also verse 53) – They shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you.
53 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body (your infants) – the flesh of your sons and daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the misery with which your enemies shall distress you. (This was happening in II Kings 6:24-29 in the time of Elisha, but in a limited scale though. The real fulfillment was under the Roman siege in 66-70 AD)
Verses 54 to 57 deal also with this dreadful cannibalism…and I pass these verses to spare you of this.
58 If you will not be watchful to all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name – the Lord your God,
59 – then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary strokes and blows, great plagues of long continuance, and grievous sicknesses of long duration.
60 Moreover, He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.
61 Also every sickness and every affliction which is not written in this Book of the Law the Lord will bring upon you until you are destroyed. (Verses 58 to 61 are in the Great Tribulation, which is an act of penalty and vindication mainly because of Israel’s bad continuous blasphemy of His name, Jesus Christ in all the time of the dispersion among the gentile nations. Check out Ezek 36, which I will deal with below).
62 (My remark: When the tribulation is over, there will be just a few Jews left as survivors) – And you shall be left few in number, whereas you had been as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
63 And as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice to bring ruin upon you and to destroy you; and you shall be plucked from the land into which you go to possess.
64 And the Lord shall scatter you among all peoples (happened in 70 AD) from one end of the earth to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.
65 And among these nations you shall find no ease and there shall be no rest for the sole of your foot; but the Lord will give you there a trembling heart, failing of eyes, fainting of mind, and languishing of spirit.
66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; day and night you shall be worried, and have no assurance of your life.
67 In the morning you shall say, Would that it were evening! And at evening you shall say, Would that it were morning! – because of the anxiety and dread of your hearts and the sights which you shall see with your own eyes.
68 (My remark: This was fulfilled when the Romans shipped all men from the age of 17 and also spouses, to the slave markets in Alexandria, Egypt. Josephus tells of this in his work ‘The Jewish War’) – And the Lord shall bring you into Egypt again with ships by the way about which I said to you, You shall never see it again. And there you shall be sold to your enemies as bondmen and bondwomen, but no man shall buy you. (See also Hos. 8:13 which says same thing).
Sorry folks! But that overloaded sugar sweet sticky nonsense served by the Christian-Zionists, that ‘God has given Israel their land back’ – don’t measure up to what the Bible has to say about it, and how things will start to happen in the Middle-East in near future.
Israel has no hope of being reckoned as God’s own nation, sat above all gentile nations like they were in the old days, before Jesus returns from heaven and establishes the millennial promised kingdom on earth. And right before that event, God shall put Israel through the cleansing and testing of the Great Tribulation as told in Matt 24 and Revelation.
THE BLESSING WAS THE SAME AS
RECEIVING JESUS MESSIAH FOR ISRAEL
Peter’s second speech since the day of Pentecost, in Acts 3:22-24, goes to show that to choose the ‘Blessing’ was the same as receiving Jesus, as He had come to them. He would come back from heaven shortly if Israel repented. Peter pointed to what Moses had prophesied in Deut 18:15-20 – and warns, like Moses, that Israel would be destroyed if they did not take heed to what Jesus had said. Rejecting Him was just the same as choosing the curse over the blessing. And we can now learn from History books that they were destroyed in 70 AD and scattered all over the civilized world.
Peter’s exhortation of Israel was,
“Thus Moses said to the forefathers, The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as me; Him you shall listen to and understand by hearing and heed in all things whatever He tells you. 23: And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to and understand by hearing and heed that prophet shall be utterly exterminated from among the people. 24: Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel and those who came afterwards, as many as have spoken, also promised and foretold and proclaimed these days.”
Zech 13:8 makes more specific mention of Deut 28:62, saying,
“And in all the land, says the Lord, two-thirds shall be cut off and perish, but one-third shall be left alive.”
THE REASON FOR ISRAEL BEING DESTROYED
A SECOND TIME SINCE 70 AD – IS THEIR
VILE BLASPHEMY OF JESUS’ NAME IN ALL
THE TIME SINCE
There is a serious reason for God to punish and destroy Israel one more time since the total destruction in 70 AD. The reason for such harsh action against them is given clearly in Ezek 36.
When they got destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, it was because of their rejection of the apostles and their preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom. They were persecuted and many were killed, as reported in the Acts history.
Jesus warned the Jews by two prophetic parables, one of the ‘kings messengers’ in Matt 22 and the other of the ‘fruitless fig tree Israel’ in Luke 13.
He warned and prophesied of Israel’s coming destruction because of their evil doings.
In Matt 22:7 Jesus said that the ‘Kings army would come and kill those who murdered the king’s messengers and burn down their city (Jerusalem)’ – and in Luke 13 the tree was cut down, after first having given it one more year to improve and carry forth fruit. The preaching of the apostles as told in Acts was the manure which was meant for the dry fig tree to bring fruit again. But it did not help. The Roman battle ax chopped the tree down in 70 AD.
Acts 28:27 points right to the conclusion of what really happened,
“…so that they would not turn to Me (the Lord) and be converted, that I may heal them.”
Paul quoting Isaiah 6, in a final judgment of Israel in their unbelief. And so, they fell away from God as a nation, and destruction overtook them shortly thereafter.
But in Ezek 36:23 we have a central verse pointing to the reason for which God shall send His stern tribulation against Israel, vindicating His holy name,
“And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name (Jesus Christ) and separate it for its holy purpose from all that defiles it – My name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you (Jews) have profaned among them (my emphasizing) – and the nations will know, understand and realize that I am the Lord, when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated in you before their eyes and yours.”
It speaks of God’s punishing actions as He sends the Great Tribulation against Israel, in such a manner that the nations in the world will clearly understand that it is God behind it – and they will observe in awe as God punishes Israel to have them stop all the blasphemy of Jesus. That is one of the main reasons we find the two witnesses/prophets in Rev 11 – and I am certain those are Elijah and Moses together in ministry.
But from Ezek 36:24 and on, we find that after the punishments are ended it will come a restoration for Israel. An entirely new Jesus-believing Israel…and the words of Acts 1:6 will come true,
“….Lord, is this the time when You will reestablish the kingdom and restore it to Israel?”
Remember, the disciples had just heard Jesus speak of the Holy Spirit and power, just as we find in Ezek 36:24-28. They suspected it all to happen shortly, and had no idea of the coming fall and destruction of Israel due to their persistent rejection of Jesus.
Rev 20:4 shows us when Jesus and His government based on the little remnant of Jews after the Great Tribulation, are established and given governing power,
“Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom authority to act as judges and to pass sentence was entrusted. Also I saw the souls of those who had been slain with axes for witnessing to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had refused to pay homage to the beast or his statue and had not accepted his mark or permitted it to be stamped on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived again and ruled with Christ a thousand years.”
But since we now clearly learn from Ezek 36, that Israel and Jewry as such – in their fall from God in disobedience, are still under the curse – in other words, they cannot be accepted as already reestablished by God. To be treated by God like that, would mean that they had come back under the blessing. They are found in Ezek 36:23 as a people in the dispersion who – as you are reading these lines – still commit the sin of profaning and blaspheming Jesus Christ. Their official national religion is the Babylonian Talmud, and it has a lot of blasphemy against both Jesus and Maria. Therefore it is impossible that this ungodly nation has been taken back under God’s blessings. Nor has He given them back the land for lawfully inhabiting it.
The existence of Israel as a nation according to the UN-mandate from 1948, is an enterprise not accepted by or arranged by God. It is entirely illegal, and a result of a rather shady series of political trickery. The Christian-Zionism movement are in serious error, totally misunderstanding the Bible in these matters.
Check out my article in my site –“Jesus Foretold of the Zionist Movement, and He used Demon Possession as Basis For the Prophesy”.
Jesus spoke of this in Matt 12 – and it is shocking to learn that He really spoke of the future (at that time) Zionist Movement. The article is clarifying, and shows us that Jesus ‘demonized’ the Zionist Movement!