Middle East Peace
The Intractable Middle East Problem (2)
God’s National Firstborn Son, Returning before the Time
. . . Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”
So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. . . . . (Exodus 4:22b, 23a)
If that which is seen in Chapter 3 of this book pertaining to Israel in the midst of Gentile nations in the Middle East (almost entirely Moslem and mostly Israel’s half-brother [centrally, descendants of Ishmael]) wasn’t already too much for man to even begin to deal with, there is still more.
And man can’t deal with that which remains any more than he can deal with that which is previously seen. It is all outside of and completely beyond his control. God alone, in His omniscient, sovereign control of all things, can deal with the present Middle East situation; and He will bring matters to pass, in His way and time, exactly as they are outlined in His infallible and unchangeable Word.
An Existing Israeli Nation in the Middle East
In the preceding respect, there is the matter of Israel having been driven out among the nations in time past, because of unbelief, to effect repentance. And a remnant has returned to the land before the time. This remnant has returned in unbelief, prior to repentance.
Or viewing the matter from another vantage point, though related to the previous, the Slayer, “Israel” — typified in Numbers chapter thirty-five — has returned to the land of her possession before it is time for the nation to return.
The Slayer, according to the type in Numbers chapter thirty-five, cannot return to the land of her possession before Christ completes His present high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and comes forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek (cf. Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110:1-7; Hebrews 5:6-10; 6:20; 7:1-21). And because a remnant has returned before the time, before Christ completes His high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, a major Middle East problem has resulted.
It is the age-old story of a disobedient Jonah asleep on board a ship headed away from God’s calling and then finding himself in the midst of a raging storm out on the sea, a storm so severe that it struck fear in the hearts of those men on the ship, a storm so severe that it was about to destroy the ship.
The preceding two types form Scriptures own word picture and comments pertaining to the dire situation in the Middle East today.
(For information on the preceding types, in relation to the antitype of that which is seen in Numbers chapter thirty-five and Jonah chapters one through three refer to Chapters 5-8 in this book.)
Then, as if the preceding addition to the existing problem wasn’t enough, add something else. God pictures Israel as having been wounded, as being sick, because of past disobedience (Isaiah 1:2ff). And God states concerning Israel’s condition in this respect that the One who brought about this condition (God, because of the nation’s disobedience) is the only One who can cure the nation (Hosea 5:13-6:2).
The present nation of Israel in the Middle East is an outgrowth and result of a Zionistic movement that began under Theodor Herzl (an ardent Zionist) and others toward the end of the nineteenth century. Then, the catalysts to bring this Zionistic movement to fruition were, centrally, events occurring during and following two subsequent world wars, WWI and WWII.
The former (WWI) provided England with the Mandate to Palestine (“the administration of the territory of Palestine” given to England by the League of Nations in 1922). And England, prior to this time, had become sympathetic toward the Zionists’ aims of a homeland for the dispersed Jew in the land to which they now held the Mandate, resulting in numerous Jews, during particularly the next two decades, returning to the land of Palestine.
And the latter (WWII), resulting centrally from the actions of the Third Reich in Europe — seeking to produce a Jew-free Europe, slaying some 6,000,000 Jews in the process, in what came to be known as The Holocaust — provided the Jewish people with the catalyst, with that which was necessary among themselves and world opinion, to bring about events of May 14, 1948.
On this date, the current Israeli nation was born. A remnant of Jews, for the first time since Rome had ruled the known world, once again existed as a nation in the Middle East. And since that time, with Jews worldwide continuously streaming into Israel, the nation to date is about 6,000,000 strong.
And it is this return of the Jewish people from a worldwide dispersion (referred to through the name, Aliyah) that Bible students often attempt to associate with the prophesied biblical return.
The fact of the matter though is that the Jewish people have sought to return through man’s own power and strength during a time in which the nation remains in disobedience and unbelief.
God scattered the Jewish people among the Gentile nations because of disobedience, to effect repentance. However, an unrepentant and a disbelieving remnant returned before the time. A nation resulted, and that nation has grown over the past sixty-seven years to where it comprises a sizeable percentage of the world’s Jewish population (about two-fifths).
A people described in the words of Isaiah 1:4-6 (“a people laden with iniquity”) presently reside in the land. And the land itself is described in the verse immediately following; in verse seven (“desolate . . . strangers devour your land”).
Numerous verses in Scripture deal with Israel’s restoration (e.g., Deuteronomy 30:1-3; Isaiah 1:4-2:5; 6:1-8; Ezekiel 36:24ff; 37:21ff; 38:8ff; 39:25ff; Matthew 24:30, 31). And that which is stated in the text and context of verses of this nature clearly presents numerous, insurmountable problems for anyone attempting to associate the present return of a remnant with God’s prophesied restoration of His people.
Many Bible students today, seeking to align the present return of a remnant to the land with God’s promises in the Old Testament to not only restore His people to their land but restore their land as well (e.g., Isaiah 35:1, 2) point to the present agricultural progress of the nation, along with other related efforts to produce vegetation, seeking to correspondingly align that with the land being restored in conjunction with the restoration of the people to their land.
But, all teachings of this nature are only man’s efforts to attempt something that he cannot do. That which is seen in Israel today, resulting in man’s efforts over decades of time to cultivate and farm the land, along with certain other related efforts to produce vegetation on the barren landscape, has no more to do with biblical prophecies pertaining to a healing of the land than does the return of a remnant, during the same time, have to do with the healing of the Jewish people.
One cannot be fulfilled apart from the other, with neither having to do with God presently restoring His people to a restored land in accordance with His numerous promises to do so. Man simply cannot circumnavigate the Word and make current events relate to something other than that to which they do relate.
And through attempting to do something of this nature, man not only has to ignore or misrepresent large sections of Scripture but he invariably ends up distorting or doing away with that which is actually taught in many of these same Scriptures.
Thus, error of this nature is no small thing, for the promises of God are being completely mishandled.
Note Isaiah 8:20 in this respect:
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them [or, ‘no dawn to them’].
That sounds plain enough! And it not only sounds plain enough, it is plain enough!
The Hebrew language has a way of often repeating the same statement or truth in different words, allowing the text to say the same thing twice. The opening part of Isaiah 8:20 is a case in point. Both “Law” and “Testimony” point to the same thing, the complete Word (the Old Testament at the time Isaiah was written, but including the New Testament as well today, for there is nothing in the New that cannot be found after some fashion in the Old).
And everything with the Lord in His Word is either black or white; there is no gray area in the Word (e.g., one is either for or against the Lord, he either scatters or gathers; in-between actions of any type, within the confines of the Word, do not exist [cf. Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23]).
Thus, study the Truth, and study the Truth after the manner in which God has laid it out in His Word. And, if one does that, coming into a knowledge of this Word, it will matter little what type-ism or false teaching appears. It will be looked upon and dealt with in the light of the Truth, the Word, wherein no error exists.
With these things in mind, what does “the Law” and “the Testimony” say about a remnant of Jews having returned to the land during modern times? Are these Jews returning in fulfillment of God’s promises to one day re-gather His people back to the land? And, is the land being restored in a corresponding fulfillment of His promises to do so when the Jewish people are re-gathered?
According to “the Law” and “the Testimony,” God, in time past, uprooted His people from their land and drove them out among the Gentile nations to effect repentance, and He clearly states that He will remove them from the nations only following repentance. And, further, any restoration of the land is always connected with that future time when the Jewish people have been restored to the land, which, again, can ONLY occur following repentance.
Then, when God restores His people in accordance with His numerous Old Testament promises to do so, the Jewish people will NEVER be uprooted from their land again (Ezekiel 37:21-28; 39:25-29; Joel 2:27; 3:17-21). But the remnant presently in the land will be uprooted in the middle of the Tribulation by the actions of the rider on the red horse in Revelation 6:3, 4 (cf. Matthew 24:15).
(For information on the actions of the four horsemen in Revelation 6:1-8, refer to the author’s book, Distant Hoofbeats.)
Further yet, the time which is seen in Scripture when God will restore His people to their land occurs following the Tribulation, not before the Tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31). And this, of course, is perfectly in line with the purpose for that which will occur relative to Israel during the Tribulation — bringing the Jewish people to the end of themselves, through persecution at the hands of the Gentiles of a nature unparalleled in the history of the nation, to effect repentance.
In short, according to the latter part of Isaiah 8:20, the teaching that God is presently restoring the Jewish people to their land in accordance with His many promises has “no light” connected with it, for such a teaching is not according to “the Law” and “the Testimony.” The teaching is completely removed from the light of God’s Word and seen in a completely opposite sphere — darkness.
And that’s the way anything being taught or anything which has been taught is to be dealt with.
If it is being taught correctly, it MUST be according to “the Law” and “the Testimony.” The individual MUST proclaim the Word, not what he thinks, but THAT WHICH THE WORD STATES (2 Timothy 4:2).
Thus, if something taught is to be seen as Truth, that which is taught in Scripture, it MUST be in accordance with “the Law” and “the Testimony.” If it is out of line with this Word, then it is associated with error, not truth. It is associated with darkness, not light.
Again, there is no middle ground; it has to be one or the other.
that deal with Israel’s restoration also deal with the reason Israel
was driven out among the nations (because of disobedience),
along with that which must occur before God will remove His people
from the nations and place them back in the land — repentance.
And the latter has yet to occur.
Thus, in this respect alone, it is not possible that the return of a remnant at a time before repentance occurs can be looked upon as God restoring the Jewish people in accordance with the numerous Old Testament prophecies.
If the present restoration of a remnant to the land is the beginning of the prophesied biblical restoration of the Jewish people to the land, God, within this restoration, would be seen acting contrary to His revealed Word, not only relative to repentance but in numerous other realms as well — an impossibility.
Aside from the fact that the restoration of the Jewish people can occur only following Israel’s repentance, this restoration must occur in accordance with the chronology of that which is foreshadowed by each of the seven Jewish festivals in Leviticus chapter twenty-three (which means that it can only follow Israel’s national conversion at the end of the Tribulation).
This restoration can occur only after Christ completes His present high priestly ministry in the sanctuary.
This restoration can occur only after Christ has returned at the end of the Tribulation.
This restoration can occur only after two days, on the third day (only after 2,000 years, in the third 1,000-year period, which comprises the Messianic Era).
This restoration can occur only after the Time of the Gentiles has been completed.
This restoration can occur only after Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy has been fulfilled (and seven years yet remain to be fulfilled in this prophecy, during which conditions will become so terrible on the earth that the Jewish people will be left without a place to turn other than to the God of their fathers).
The Complete Picture
Thus, the complete Middle East picture, as it exists today, could be succinctly depicted:
On the one hand, God’s firstborn son, the one whose right it is to hold the scepter, the only nation with a God, is sitting wounded in a place where the nation is not even supposed to be today, in the midst of Moslem nations, with the nations raging and the whole situation about to tumble out of control (cf. Psalm 2:1ff).
And on the other hand, Satan, through existing conditions, is doing all within his power to destroy Israel, using the surrounding Gentile nations, which are under his control and sway.
This is why there is a situation rapidly becoming uncontrollable, with the nations raging, in the Middle East today. This is why the world heard the cry from Nasser over five decades ago that the primary goal of a war between Egypt and Israel was to drive Israel into the sea, doing away with the nation.
And, as well, this is the reason why other Middle East rulers since that time have continued to echo the same cry which was heard from Nasser (e.g., Arafat among the Palestinians or Ahmadinejad in Iran).
And this is all perfectly understandable, for note who rules from the heavens through the governmental rulers on earth, both among the nations on the one hand and Israel on the other. Among the nations (all of the Gentile nations, no exceptions), it is Satan and his angels; then with Israel, it is Michael and his angels.
(These things are clearly stated and dealt with in the latter part of Daniel chapter ten. Refer to Chapter 3 of this book.)
None of the basics behind these things are being taken into account in the nations’ endeavors to effect Middle East peace. They can’t take these basics into account. The intractable Middle East problem has both a biblical base and a false religious base, and the nations seeking to effect peace cannot operate in either realm.
Both bases are spiritual and involve supernatural powers — one emanating from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the other emanating from the god of this age. Man’s best efforts in either supernatural realm would be as powerless as trying to extinguish the flames of a burning skyscraper with an empty eyedropper.
And even if the nations could operate in the spiritual realm, the nations couldn’t cure Israel of her current condition. Only God can do this, something that He clearly states that He will do following Israel being brought to the place of repentance.
The Middle East is a powder keg with a burning short fuse. It is going to blow, and man can’t stop it, for the prophets have already spoken. This is simply what GOD HAS DECREED that it will ultimately take to bring Israel to the place of repentance, something that has been in the offing for over 2,600 years of Gentile rule and persecution of Israel.
How soon will it be before the Middle East tumbles completely out of control in the preceding manner? We’re not told. So there is no need to speculate. Such would be useless anyway. Suffice it to say that it is later, much later, than most care to think, imagine, or admit.
Then, There Is Something Else
The preceding outlines the bad news. The preceding shows why a report such as The Baker-Hamilton Report (ref. Chapter 3 in this book) can’t even begin to touch the problem, as it exists. And this is not to speak negatively of the report. Rather, it is simply to say, from a biblical base, as previously outlined, that there is an existing problem in the Middle East that man can’t deal with.
But there is good news. The more that the matter deteriorates, the brighter things become in another respect. The dawn always follows the darkest hour of the night.
The time is rapidly approaching when the Church will be removed, and after that God will allow conditions to deteriorate to a point, particularly in the Middle East, where Israel will have no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers. Scripture describes that time as a day “that shall burn as an oven” (Malachi 4:1), and Scripture also speaks of conditions deteriorating during that time to a point where “no flesh” would survive apart from divine intervention (Matthew 24:22).
It will be the story seen in the book of Exodus all over again. Israel, through Gentile persecution, will be brought to the place of repentance, a Deliverer will be sent, Israel will be delivered, and Gentile world power will be destroyed.
That coming day will see the “Sun of Righteousness” arise “with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2). Christ will return, Israel will be cured of her wound (her sickness), Gentile world power will be destroyed, and God’s firstborn Sons (Christ, Israel, and the Church [following the adoption]) will then exercise the rights of primogeniture, with the Gentile nations being blessed through Israel.
Then and only then will the intractable problem in the Middle East be resolved. Then and only then will there be peace in the Middle East.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)