June 19, '11 1:35 PM
By Regner Capener
Howdy! Glad you joined me today!
I’ll keep these comments short because we need to get right into today’s discussion. There are a large number of folks who’ve responded to this series of Coffee Breaks on Israel – both positively and negatively. A common thread appearing in the negative responses is predicated in a horrendous doctrine that began to spread throughout the “structured church” during the Dark Ages. There are two parts of this doctrine.
The first part of it alleges that the Jews crucified Jesus. That is scripturally inaccurate. Revelation 13:8 clearly states that Jesus was “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth.”He chose, of His own will, in agreement with Father and Holy Spirit, to go to the Cross even BEFORE Adam and Eve were created. Adam’s fall was no surprise to the Lord God. He knew it was going to happen before He breathed His first breath into him, and they [the Godhead] made preparation to redeem the human race. There was an appointed time in history (His Story] for that to take place.
Secondly, although the religious Jews were part of the scenario which led to Jesus’ crucifixion, they were pawns in an agenda created by Satan long before Jesus was born. The truth is that it was a religious spirit which crucified Jesus on the Cross. Sure, it was operating in the religious Jews, but it was also operating in Rome as well. To blame the Jews for Jesus’ death on the Cross is a deliberate distortion of history, and a deliberate twisting of the spiritual forces that were at work. One of these days I’ll do a series of Coffee Breaks on the Nephilim Agenda – a Satanic agenda that was at work to destroy the promised Redeemer as far back as the days of Noah.
The driving force behind this demonic doctrine is a virulent spirit of Anti-Semitism. The second part of the doctrine that says the Jews crucified Jesus also says that because the Jews departed from the Lord God and worshiped false idols, God canceled His Covenant with them; therefore, Jesus’ death on the Cross was designed to redeem “the world” and NOT the Jews! Anyone who believes that has become the victim of an extremely racist spirit. I won’t take the time today to dig into it, but let me just simplify it like this: ALL racism – whether the prejudice is against Blacks, Asians, Indians, Eskimos, Arabs or Jews (or any other racial group) is predicated and rooted in Anti-Semitism.
[Note: Anti-Semitism and racism of every ilk is – nothing more and nothing less – rooted in a spirit of hatred against God’s plan for the human race from the day He breathed His breath into Adam and initiated the process of creating a family for Himself – a family of beings who would be like Him, function like Him, love like Him, think like Him and speak like Him. It targets the Jews or Israel (or any other race or culture of people it chooses), blames them for the world’s ills (or society’s ills) instead of the true Enemy. It targets people and personalities instead of the evil spirits that drive them, creating a special class of people to lobby against.]
The corollary to this Anti-Semitic doctrine that God abandoned the Jews in favor of the Gentiles is the idea that the Gentiles are now “God’s chosen people” and the Jews have no claim to that status anymore. What a lie! What a perversion of the truth!
I take you back to some quotes from the last Coffee Break “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.”(Romans 11:1)
He goes on to say the following: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (Romans 11:25-26)
Were it not for the Jews, therefore, there would be no salvation for the rest of the world! And Jesus makes that abundantly clear in John 4:23.
OK. Time to move on.
The 83rd Psalm is one of the most unique prophecies in the Word. This was a prayer and a prophecy of Asaph. Despite all the attacks that have come against Israel throughout the centuries and millennia, this is one of those wars that have never taken place – yet! Hence, when Asaph was praying this prayer, he was seeing ten nations or tribes or peoples who had assembled themselves against Israel with one purpose. When you listen to some of Ahmadinejad’s rants and threats, you’d think he actually believes he can beat the Lord God and wipe Israel off the map.
Listen to how Asaph puts it in his prayer: “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.”
Now Asaph lists the conspirators, and he is very specific as he names 10 nations or tribes.
“The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.”
In order to appreciate the significance of this, we need to identify each of the nations with their modern-day counterparts.
1.Edom:This is a name given to the descendants of Esau. Their territory was initially referred to as “the mountains of Seir” and extended from the Gulf of Aqaba to the foot of the Dead Sea and eastward into Jordan and Arabah (modern-day Saudi Arabia).The Greeks referred to their rock-hewn city of Sela as “Petra” – the name by which we still know it today in what is currently the western part of Jordan. The Edomites became a very scattered and nomadic people, eventually making Bozrah (modern-day Basra in Iraq) their capital until they were taken over and assimilated by the Chaldeans.
2.The Ishmaelites: This was a people descended from Ishmael, the son of Abraham born to the Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. Ishmael, as we know, was sent away with his mother by command of the Lord because he was the “seed of the flesh” and not the “seed of covenant.”The angel of the Lord told Hagar that Ishmael’s descendants would have “their hand against every man, and every man’s hand against them.”They initially settled in Paran, a region lying between Canaan and the mountains of Sinai. This was a people who scattered (as did the Edomites) across the wide deserts of northern Arabia from the Red Sea to the Euphrates.
3.Moab: Descended from Moab, the incestuous son of Lot, these people initially occupied Zoar, the region around the Dead Sea left in chaos by the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and eventually began to spread over the region east of the Jordan River until their great defeat by David. The last historical reference to the Moabites as a people places them in what today is southern Lebanon and southeastern Syria. Chronologically in Scripture, we find Sanballat (who was a Moabite [Nehemiah uses the Horite description]) doing his best to block the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
4.The Hagarenes (Hagarites): Brothers to the Ishmaelites, we have no record of their father and they are described as descended from Hagar. History distinguishes between them and the Ishmaelites, although they seemed to occupy much of the same territory as their Ishmaelite brethren. Every scriptural reference to them identifies them as a “trans-Jordanic tribe,” and we see the tribe of Reuben soundly defeating them in battle during the days of King Saul.
5.Gebal: Modern day Dschebel (25 miles north of Beirut, Lebanon) is identified with this mountain-seaport. The Greeks referred to Gebal as “Byblos”; and it was one of Syria’s major seaports. There is a separate reference to a Gebal in the Apocrypha as being in the northern part of Arabia near Petra, but there seems to be little connection between the two. Gebal was a “city-state” much like Monaco is today, and was among the major city-states of Phoenicia (which today is northern Lebanon and south-western Syria).
6.Ammon: Modern-day Amman, Jordan is a continuously occupied city for some four-plus millennia, and it gets its name from Ammon, the other incestuous son of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. That inhabitants of Jordan, much of whom we would know today as “Palestinians” are the descendants of Ammon seems pretty clear. Historically, the Ammonites and Moabites were the persistent enemies of Israel, continually trying to deprive them of their existence in the land. I remind you of I Chronicles 20 when the Ammonites and Moabites, along with remnants of the Amorites, came against Jehoshaphat and the Lord routed them in such a way that they destroyed one another.
7.Amalek: These were descendants of Esau – a warring people who principally occupied the Sinai between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were a persistent enemy of Israel for whom God decreed ultimate destruction. Agag, the Amalekite king, tried to bribe Balaam into cursing Israel.“Agag” seems to be a title given to each king of the Amalekites, and it was an “Agag” whom Samuel was forced to kill when Saul disobeyed the Lord by keeping him alive. Haman, whose conspiracy to destroy Israel in the days of Esther, was an “Agagite” – a descendant of Agag in the days of Saul.
8.The Philistines: There is a rather oblique reference in II Samuel which suggests that they were part of the Rephaim – one of the groups in Scripture identified with the Nephilim in Genesis 6.In any case they occupied the Gaza, Lebanon and south-western Syria. The Palestinian demand to occupy the Gaza today is a very telling picture of this enemy of Israel. I only have to remind you of the story of David and Goliath.
9.The Inhabitants of Tyre:A city-state of its own during Old-Testament times, it was originally one of the main port cities of Phoenicia. By the time Asaph gave his prophecy, Tyre was a Syrian stronghold, and it remains as that to this day. Although Abraham was sometimes referred to as a Syrian because he lived for 25 years in Haran (modern-day spelling: Harran) before responding to the second call of the Lord, the Syrians have been – ever since Israel began to occupy Canaan – the enemies of Israel. I Kings 11:25 tells us that Hadad (see also I Kings 11:14), the King of Syria, was of royal Edomite lineage – a descendant of Esau, and this explains the ongoing enmity of millennia between Syria and Israel.
10. Assur (Asshur): This was the capital city of ancient Assyria – an empire divided by the Medes and Persians. Syria of today gets its name from ancient Assyria. Modern-day Asshur is in Northern Iraq, however, and its remnant people are scattered throughout Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Because they were close neighbors of the Moabites and Ammonites, Asaph tells us in his prophecy (reading the NASB) that “they have become a help to the children of Lot.”
That’s the general outline of the ten nations. Let’s consolidate the picture to modern times. What do we see? Closest to Israel, we find (1) the Palestinians in Gaza, (2) Lebanon (under Syria’s domination with Hezbollah), (3) Syria, (4) Jordan, (5) Egypt - (the Sinai Peninsula), and (6) Saudi Arabia.A little farther out, we have (7) Iraq, and (8) Iran.While on today’s maps (you can Google Map the region for a look at it yourself) there are ten nations named, three of the nations are consolidated in present-day Jordan and Syria: Moab, Ammon and the “Hagarenes.”Since we know that the Hagarites occupied much of the same territory as the Ishmaelites, and we know that the Ishmaelites occupied at least a portion of the Sinai, the father of the Hagarites (and I’m really speculating here) could have been an Egyptian as Hagar was.
In any case, Israel today is surrounded by the very same enemies it faced during Biblical times, despite the fact that in some instances we have different names today along with consolidation. In a Coffee Break series I did a couple years ago titled Seven Nations, Seven Letters, we talked about the fact that ancient Israel failed to keep God’s commandment to them to literally destroy, wipe-out to the last man, woman and child, and erase every vestige of the seven nations that occupied Canaan prior to the conquest by Joshua.
Additionally, in the days of King Saul, Israel was commanded to obliterate every trace of the Amalekites. He did not.As a result of their failure, traces of these nations remained throughout the ages. We even find almost one whole nation of the original seven still intact as a nation during Jesus’ ministry. The Greek New Testament refers to the original Girgashites as the Gergesenes (Gergesenos) when Jesus brings deliverance to the Gadarene demoniac.
Although we have no modern reference to the Moabites, Ammonites (except for Amman), Amalekites, Hagarites, etc., history is clear that whatever remnant of these tribal nations existed after their major destruction at the hands of their enemies, that remnant was assimilated into their captor nations.
We couldn’t have a clearer picture of Asaph’s prophecy. Here is a perfect description of the same enemies that surround Israel today. With the possible exception of King Abdullah in Jordan (who as mentioned before has attempted to moderate things with the Palestinian population which comprises more than 70 percent of the Jordanian people) and Iraq which is endeavoring to get its own act together, the rest of the surrounding nations have adopted a hostile, “get rid of Israel” attitude; and Iran’s Ahmajinedad has actually declared the very words Asaph used calling for Israel’s extinction.
I want to get to the meat of the prophecy in Psalm 83, but it is clear that we won’t make it there today, so let’s cut this Coffee Break short and we’ll pick things up in a few days.
Before I go, however, an article of extreme interest appears on the front page of Israel Today in the June 17th edition. The headline reads: ARE MANY PALESTINIANS REALLY JEWS?(see: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/tabid/178/nid/22830/language/en-US/Default.aspx)
Here are a few lines from the article: In the shadow of the conflict over the Promised Land more and more Palestinians are disclosing the truth: Entire families are considering conversion to Judaism. They claim that their ancestors were forced to choose between religion (Judaism) and remaining on the Land, and hence, they were compelled to convert to Islam. These Palestinians are part of the seed of Israel and could be called “Palestinian Marranos” - like the “secret Jews” of Spain in the 15th century who were forced to convert to Christianity, but covertly remained observant Jews. By returning to the Jewish religion and nation, they foresee a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
With the news from this piece, a recent poll in the Jerusalem Post makes a lot of sense. Taken on the West Bank the polls showed that 57% of the “Palestinians” interviewed would prefer to be a part of Israel rather than a Palestinian state. No wonder! When you have people who’ve been forced into accepting Islam or die, and they become assimilated into a culture that is antagonistic towards everything they’ve ever known and serve a god who is a false god, there can’t be anything but a yearning for a return to the life and the worship their ancestors have known.
OK. There you have it for today.I’ll pick up on the Psalm 83 prophecy and its significance to today in our next Coffee Break. See you then.
As Christians we have a mandate from the Lord to bless Israel. More than that, the cry of the Lord through Isaiah is to “give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth!”
Blessings on you!
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