June 6, '11 4:33 PM
By Regner Capener
Greetings! Salutations, too!
Before we get started with today’s discussion, let me finish our last discussion with a few comments. And, by the way, thanks to Rich and DeAngela Warren, we have a really nice new French Press. It makes roughly 38 ounces of the best coffee you’ve ever had, and I’ve got a mix of Double-Roasted French and some medium-roasted Swedish coffee (again thanks to Rich and DeAngela) steeping in it as we speak.If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and join me in a cup.
As Elliott Green notes in his legal argument (see http://www.think-israel.org/green.sanremo.html), The San Remo decision for the Jewish National Home was ratified by the League of Nations in 1922 and endorsed by a joint resolution of the United States Congress that same year, with a more official US endorsement coming in the Anglo-American Convention on Palestine (proclaimed 1925).
When the UN was founded in 1945, it reaffirmed through its Charter the existing territorial rights of peoples as they had been before the war (Article 80). This applied of course to the Jewish National Home. However, many or most people today are either not aware that the whole country constituted the Jewish National Home, or believe that the UN had somehow eliminated this status and, in any case, had fixed legal boundaries for Israel through the 1947 Partition Resolution. Yet the 1947 resolution was passed by the General Assembly. And all General Assembly resolutions on political issues are merely recommendations.
The UN Charter states, defining the powers of the various UN bodies: "The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security... and... may make recommendations with regard to any such question" (Article 11; also see Arts. 10, 12, 13, 14). Only the Security Council can make binding resolutions, according to the Charter.
Now the Partition Plan, in a not uncommon display of political irrealism, recommended two states in the former mandatory Palestine west of the Jordan, one Jewish and one Arab, plus a special status for Jerusalem (The British had separated Transjordan unilaterally from the Jewish National Home in 1922, although not de jure). The Holy City was to be an internationally governed corpus separatum. While the Jewish leadership accepted the Plan, the Arab governments and local Arab leadership universally rejected it. After the war had begun the UN made no effort to prevent the invasion of the country by Arab states, to prevent Arab attacks on Jews within the country or to eliminate the Arab siege of the Jews in Jerusalem, a city where Jews had been the majority at least since 1870. Thus Israel did not feel bound by the Partition recommendation. Professor Eugene Rostow, an authority on international law, has pointed out that the Arab war on Israel of 1947-49, "made the Partition Plan irrelevant."
The demand, therefore, by the current administration in the White House (operating in agreement with the demands of the Arab League) that Israel return to the lines originally outlined by the partition of 1947-1949 ignores completely the fact that lands being illegally occupied by the Palestinians were legitimately restored to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.For anyone – our nation’s leaders especially – to demand that Israel give those lands back in exchange for peace is illogical and hypocritical. Once you start down that road, one could logically argue that the United States should give back Texas and California to Mexico (and there are a group of radicals – La Raza, for example – who are pushing for just that!)
It simply flies in the face of reason!
That’s never going to happen, and any effort at a government level to begin negotiating such an action would be regarded as treason. By the same token, for the U.S. – or any other national entity – to presuppose that Israel should surrender territory won by the blood of its soldiers and its citizens, and (more than that) territory given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by God as an everlasting inheritance (the Hebrew text renders the word “o’lam” eternity, or: eternity of eternities, perpetual, to a point in time beyond the vanishing point [Gesenius] – see Genesis 17:8,19 – is arrogant beyond words!
Getting back to the San Remo Accord, it is important to understand that nothing has changed since that charter was given for the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland. No legally binding action of any kind has taken place which abrogated that charter. The fact that the Arab nations refused to agree to a two-state solution recommended by the United Nations negated the whole idea of a separate “Palestine.”
There has never been a nation or state recognized internationally as Palestine – just a designated region of the Middle East. Politically speaking, Israel has agreed conceptually to a Palestinian state, but that agreement has always been founded upon the basic tenet that the Arab peoples who call themselves “Palestinians” must agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.The “Palestinians” have never agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state – ever!
Although Israel was already legally entitled to what was being referred to as “the West Bank,” “Gaza,” the Sinai and “the Golan” under the San Remo Accord, when Egypt, Jordan and Syria attacked Israel in 1967, Israel won those territories by right of conquest; and they both legally and by right of war have the absolute claim to those lands. Any suggestion to the contrary is based in utter ignorance of the laws, charters and internationally recognized claims of war.
We could take this argument farther, but that pretty much covers it. Let’s talk now about Israel’s destiny.
The Scripture actually speaks of four Israels. If that sounds really strange, let me explain.
1.The first Israel we would describe as “Political or Secular Israel.”This is represented by the governing leadership – the political structure that governs the nation’s day-to-day activities.This leadership is (to quote Carl Gallups) “thoroughly secularized and Godless.”This Israel simply reflects the sin nature in the same way that political or secular leadership of other nations is sinful and Godless.
2.The second is “Religious Israel.”This is that part of the people or nation that practices Orthodox Judaism. Jesus often addressed the religious people of that era – the Scribes and Pharisees – rebuking them for their adherence to legalistic obedience while utterly ignoring the spiritual nature of their whole existence as a people.
3.Third is the geographical land that God gave by covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.Prophecies abound throughout Scripture – both Old and New Testaments – in which geographical Israel plays an important role. Many of the O.T. prophets prophesied the day when Israel – the people – would be restored to their land, and their land to them.
4.And fourth is what we could call “Spiritual Israel.”Paul goes to great lengths in Romans to lay out the picture of the Israel of God’s destiny, describing it as those Jews (or Israelites) who accept Yeshua HaMaschiach (Jesus (the) Christ), along with the grafted-in peoples of all the nations of the world who also turn from their idols to worship Him.
It is important to make a distinction here before we continue.
Isaiah often prophesied of and to Jerusalem and in so doing, prophesying to Israel (the nation) as a whole. But he made a clear distinction (just as David did) between Jerusalem (the city) and Zion, where his Tabernacle sat (as the place of intimacy, the place of God’s Parousia) His immediate presence.Jerusalem was the larger picture of God’s people.Zion was the picture of a holy, set apart, always-in-tune-with-Him people whom Jesus likened to the five wise virgins.
While Jerusalem always represented God’s people as a whole, Zion was the place where David established his Tabernacle. It was the place of continuous praise, worship, prayer and intercession, all taking place before the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the marriage between the Lord and His Chosen and Called-Out Bride.
There are numerous references to Zion as “the city of David” – a phrase which many have taken to apply to Jerusalem as a whole. However, what gets missed in the translation from Hebrew is the fact that Zion (tsiyon in Hebrew) actually means: a conspicuous place, a monument or guiding pillar. The term, Zion, was initially meant to apply to the place of David’s Tabernacle.David’s Tabernacle was set on a high place so that Israel could see it as a visible reference – a mark of God’s presence and covenant in and with the land. David’s appointment of the families of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun became a visual and audible representation of the seven-lamped Golden Candlestick.The Golden Candlestick (in Moses’ Tabernacle) signified the worship of a loving Bride with its flames of passion burning day and night.
The name, Jerusalem, is a compound name with two root words: yeru, [yaru] [yarush] (Jerus), meaning: foundations (or: to found or establish); and: Salem, shalam [shalom], meaning: peace, safety, to be complete, to be prosperous, to be restored, restitution.We reduce it to: “the foundations of peace.”
You may recall that this city was first established by Shem, the son of Noah. It began as a citadel in the years after the great flood. Shem built it as a city and a place of safety for his bride, and named it Salem. He occupied this citadel and exerted righteous influence throughout the land of Canaan and much of the Middle East for roughly 500 years.(It’s not a wonder, therefore, that they referred to him as being without father or mother, without beginning or ending of days! He outlived many generations.)
Because of his act of tracking down Nimrod with a band of twelve men following the scattering of people at Babel, killing Nimrod, cutting his body up into twelve pieces and sending a piece to each of the rulers in the region with the message “Thus shall it be done to those who rise up against God,” the inhabitants of the land began to refer to him as Malkiy – Tsedeq (the King of Right or Righteousness).We have his name Anglicized as “Melchizedek.”
Following Shem’s death in the year that Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, the descendants of Canaan’s son, Jerus, (Canaan was the firstborn son of Ham, Shem’s brother) moved into the citadel and began to occupy it. Because Jerus had developed a military tactic of crushing the grain fields of his enemies and rendering the grains unplantable for a new crop, his sons renamed him from “Jerus” to “Jebus,” which means “crushing.”Thus the city of Salem became known throughout some five-to-six centuries as “Jebus” (the city of the Jebusites) until David captured it. Once David had the city, and once the Tabernacle of David occupied Zion, the city became known forever as Jerusalem – Yerushalayim.
We thus have two distinct characteristics within Jerusalem – that of the city and its occupants, and that of Zion as the place of David’s Tabernacle, and ultimately Solomon’s Temple (on the adjoining hill).Jerusalem became known as “the city of God,” (i.e., the City of God’s people).Zion was distinguished within the city as the place of covenant, the place of intimacy, the place of praise and worship.
You therefore have a people of God; and within that people is a smaller, more intimate group of people near to the heart of God whose entire existence revolves about seeing that His heart’s desires are met and fulfilled. It has become the picture of the body of Christ at large – we often refer to it in error as “the Church” – and within that larger body is a small segment, a remnant if you will, of people prophetic Scriptures identify as “the Bride.”(I won’t take the time in this discussion to deal with this subject at length since it would take us too far afield from our central point.)
I’ve said all that to say this, Israel’s future and destiny are spoken of prophetically throughout the Word. Let’s address the geographical land of Israel, the Jewish people, and Jerusalem to begin with.
Isaiah 62:1-4: For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.And the nations and peoples (Gentiles) shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name (shem: character, makeup, personality), which the mouth of the LORD shall name.Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
Isaiah 65:8-10:Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.
It is important to remember that Isaiah is prophesying directly to Israel. While there certainly is a spiritual relevance to these prophecies that applies to the body of Christ, and to the Bride in this day, that is only one part of the picture. Israel was Isaiah’s focus, and he is literally covering the different parts of the nation in these words.
He first addresses the people AND the city of Jerusalem (For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness); he then speaks to the land (neither shall thy land any more be termed desolate).This prophetic word all by itself makes clear that Jerusalem will never be given over to an Arab nation or people as its capital.
Now Isaiah addresses some of the geographical aspects of the land of Israel when he says, “I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.”While Isaiah refers to the “seed out of Jacob” he literally speaks to all the territory that God promised to Abraham – and that’s a whole lot more than Israel currently occupies!“Judah” is modern-day “Judea and Samaria” in the West Bank.
Next he refers to opposite sides of the country: Sharon, which is a 30-mile stretch of land bordering the Mediterranean beginning just south of modern-day Haifa and extending south toward Netanya; and the “Valley of Achor” which runs along both sides of the Jordan River (both East and West Bank) and encompasses the area formerly occupied by the ancient city of Jericho.
I’m running short of time today so let’s get to the pictures of both religious (Orthodox Judaism) and spiritual Israel.
Consider Paul’s statement as Romans 11 begins: “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.”
Clearly God has not forsaken His people. Paul was a Pharisee, a member of Orthodox Judaism, before his Damascus road experience. Now he speaks to Israel’s redemption – AND to ours as the seed of Abraham by faith!
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. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.(Romans 11:25-31)
Thus, Paul makes it abundantly clear that religious Israel was allowed to go into a place of spiritual blindness so that the rest of the world (the Gentiles) could have access to the mercy and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. But that period of blindness was only for a season – not for all time!
Here’s how Jesus put it: “And they (the Jews as a whole) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”(Luke 21:24)
Without taking a lot of time to deal with the subject (it really is lengthy when you get into it) John speaks of two groups of 144,000 in Revelation.
The first group is seen as a metaphor for Israel itself: And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Revelation 7:4)
The second group John describes as being “redeemed from among men.”And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:3-4)
The number, 144,000, is a Hebrew metaphor. It is a prophetic picture. It is 12 taken to completion. Throughout Scripture you see the number twelve appearing many times. It essentially describes a group of people in training and processing and preparation to rule. You see it in Israel, and you see it in the body of Christ at large. The 144,000 represents the completion of that training and preparation.
The two groups that John sees in Revelation, therefore, describe the completed Bride of Christ – a portion made from a trained and prepared Israel and a portion made from those grafted into Christ from among every nation and language as the seed of Abraham by faith.
Thus the destiny of Israel is our destiny as committed and sold-out believers in Jesus Christ. We are inseparable! Israel was God’s original pattern people for the world. Despite the nation’s fall into sin and departure from serving God, He would not forsake them nor abolish His covenant with them. Thus their redemption is taking place – even as we speak. I’m told by friends in Israel that an increasing number of Jewish Rabbis are coming to the recognition that Yeshua HaMaschiach was and is their promised redeemer, and that number of Rabbis is approaching the 50% level. The Lord IS going to show Himself strong on Israel’s behalf, and the nation will turn to Him!
Jesus is returning for a sold-out, committed, processed-in-the-fire, spot- and wrinkle-free Bride. That’s a people – Jews included – who DO KNOW THEIR GOD, who are strong and will do exploits!(See Daniel 11:32)
We’ve got one more Coffee Break to do on Israel: ISRAEL AND THE PSALM 83 PROPHECY. See you again, soon.
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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