BIBLE STUDY LESSON # 12...DECEMBER, 27 , 2009
“Whoever Curses You, I Will Curse!"
A quick note before I begin the lesson. I have asked group members Marty Ward and Mark McKinney to do the next two weeks lessons. Marty & Mark are both Ordained ministers and I know they have great wisdom to share with us. Marty will be taking the January 3rd lesson and Mark will follow up with the January 10th lesson. I will still be here around the group putting my two cents worth in, look forward to discussing the upcoming lessons with all of you.
To Whom Does The Land Of Israel Belong?
Abraham was and is the Father of the Jewish people. God designated Abraham and his descendant’s as the people who would be used in the fulfillment of God’s plan of Salvation. God promises to Abraham that all of the land he saw, God would give it to Abraham and his descendant’s forever. God made these promises to Abraham and then promised them again to his Son Isaac and then again to Isaac’s Son Jacob. Let’s take a look at these promises.
God’s Promise To Abraham…
Genesis 13: 14 - 17...The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you."
Genesis 17: 1 - 8...When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."
God’s Promise To Isaac…
Genesis 26: 2 - 5...The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."
God’s Promise To Jacob…
Genesis 28: 3 & 4...May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham."
Genesis 28: 13 - 15...There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
I think that anybody with a clear thinking, un-bias mind would have to conclude that the land of Israel has been given to the Jewish people as an “everlasting possession”. Hal Lindsey’s statement on this matter is this: “The Jewish people are the only people in the history of mankind to have a “titled deed by God” to the land they are on. Every other Nation and the land that they now posses has been obtained by conquest”. If we agree that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, we can move on with the study. If you don’t agree that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, stop here and go back and read the previous scripture. If the previous scripture doesn’t convince you of this, the rest of the study will only confuse you more. I do not mean to be snotty here, I only think that there comes a time when we have to start believing the word of God for what it says and not what some other religion or political group wants us to believe! If you are with me to this point, let’s move on…
Now, if we agree with the previous scripture that God has given the land of Israel to the Jewish people as an “everlasting possession”, then we too have to take away from this scripture that the Jewish people, were chosen by God to be his “chosen people”. Why, you ask, is that an issue? Don’t we all know that the Jews have always been called and accepted as “God’s Chosen People”? Well, not all of us! There is a false doctrine that has been spreading throughout certain “Christian Denominations”, that because the Jewish people rejected their Messiah, “Jesus Christ”, that God has stripped them of being his chosen ones and has replaced them with “The Church”! Keep in mind here, that they have no scripture to back up these claims, only a high minded attitude. This new doctrine or theology is referred to as “Replacement Theology”. I will provide you with a simple definition of “replacement theology” below as well as the link from where I found it…
Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the church is a continuation of Israel (replacement/covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (dispensationalism/premillennialism).
Replacement theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are “spiritualized” or “allegorized” into promises of God's blessing for the church.
Paul, as he wrote the book of Romans back in 57 AD, was already experiencing some form of replacement theology, or at least a high minded attitude toward the Jews from new Christians. Let’s see what Paul tells these Christians about God’s future plans for the Jewish people as well as the warnings he gave them for such misguided ideas…
Romans 10: 19 - 21... Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding." And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me. “ But concerning Israel he says,
"All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."
Paul says here that because God provoked Israel to jealousy and many Gentiles had accepted the Messiah that the Jews had rejected, prophecy was being fulfilled exactly the way Isaiah had prophesied centuries earlier.
Isaiah 65: 1 - 5..."I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.' All day long I have held out my hands
to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations- a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat; who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day.
Let’s go on to Romans chapter 11.…
Romans 11: 1 - 5...I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
What is the first thing Paul begins with here in chapter 11? “Did God reject his people?” And he answered his own question by saying, “By no means”! Paul explains that over time, even the time that Israel turned to worship the God Baal, that God had reserved unto himself a remnant who had not bowed their knees to Baal. Paul goes on to say that, so too now, has a remnant of Jews accepted him in secret as the Messiah. Let’s go on…
Romans 11: 7 - 12...What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day." And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever." Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
Paul’s referred prophecy from David…
Psalm 69: 22...May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap.
Paul tells us in vs. 7 - 12 that Israel had been “spiritually blinded” so that in God’s ultimate plan, Israel’s rejection of the Messiah would lead to the salvation of the Gentiles. God knew that by bringing salvation to the Gentiles, it would make them jealous. Paul says that if Israel’s transgressions has brought the world riches (salvation), how much greater riches for the Gentiles when Israel’s fullness happens, which means God is not finished with Israel by any means. Let’s read on as Paul warns Christians about having a high minded attitude towards Israel….
Romans 11: 15 - 29 & vs. 32...For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Vs 32...For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Paul goes on to tell that if God can graft us into the tree being “wild or unnatural”, how much more can God graft in again the natural branches (Israel) which had been cut off. Paul warns them to not be arrogant, but to be afraid with those high minded attitudes because God would also cut them off. He warns them not to be conceited and that Israel had experienced a “hardening” until the times (number) of the Gentiles had come in. That phrase “the times of the gentiles has come in”, simply refers to a time that when the last gentile that will be saved, has been saved. Vs 28...Paul confirms God’s eternal covenant with Israel and that they are still in God’s eternal plans to bring light to the Gentiles. Here are a few more verses that tells that God’s plan for the Jewish people was to bring a light to the Gentiles.
Acts 13: 46 - 48...Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: " 'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' " When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
Isaiah 42: 6..."I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.
Someone please tell me after reading Romans chapter 11, how any clear thinking Believer can come away thinking that God has totally abandoned Israel and has not only given away it’s commission but also it’s blessings to “The Church”? Conceit and high minded attitudes is the only reasonable answer.
When we look at Prophecy today, we must look at it and combine it with historical facts to determine whether it is fulfilled or unfulfilled Prophecy. Here are a few unfulfilled prophecies where God gives us a glimpse of what he has in store for Israel & Jerusalem in the last days. Let me first set the stage for the first scripture…Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39 are referring to a future battle that will take place in Israel where God will supernaturally protect Israel against her enemies. This battle is referred to as “The Battle of Gog & Magog”. I will not get too deep into this as I plan to cover this war more in depth in a future study. After God supernaturally protects Israel in this war, he gives a clear reason as to why he does this…
Ezekiel 39: 21 - 29..."I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them. "Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."
What are the reasons God gives for this war and his protection of Israel?
1.) To display his glory among the heathen Nations…
2.) That Israel, from that day forward, will know that he is the “Lord their God”.
3.) That he hid his face from Israel because of their sin, but now he has returned to have compassion on Israel…
4.) And that he will once again show himself “Holy”, through Israel” once again to the Nations.
5.) To pour out his Spirit on the house of Israel…
Does this sound like God has forever forsaken Israel and has forever substituted the Church in their place? Not quite!!
Here is what the Prophet Zechariah prophesied about Israel in the last days…
Zechariah 12: 8 - 14...On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives.
Zechariah 13: 1..."On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
So Zechariah tells us that God will pour out his Spirit of grace and supplication on the house of David in the last days. He says that all of Israel will look upon the one that they pierced (Jesus) and they will bitterly mourn. God also says that he will destroy all Nations who attack Israel in the last days. Which brings us back to the beginning of Zechariah 12 where God gives a clear and stern message for all who would dare to attack or try to divied Jerusalem in the last days…
Zechariah 12: 2 - 6... "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.' "On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
Israel has become that “Trembling Cup” (KJV), that Zechariah said it would be in the last days to anyone who would dare attack her or try to divide her. Why is that so important to us as believers here in the last days? I’ll tell you why! Since Israel’s inception as a Nation back in 1948, our Country has always been the greatest supporter of Israel in the world. God promised to Abraham in Genesis 12: 1 -3...that he would bless those who blessed Israel, and I think we can all agree that this Nation has been richly blessed because of that support. For the first time, we now have an administration who is doing everything in it’s power to turn it’s back on Israel and support her enemies. For years now we have been doing everything possible to make Israel give up to her enemies, the land that God promised would always be theirs. This administration is taking it to a whole new level of deceit and hypocrisy in our relationship with the state of Israel. God’s hand of protection has already been lifted from this Country for our many sins and turning our backs on Him, now we have taken that final step that I believe will result in this Country’s final demise. Israel has become that “trembling cup" to us as a Nation and will be the final straw in God’s judgment upon us. Right after God promised to Abraham that he would “bless those who blessed them”, he then said “whoever curses you, I will curse”. History is filled with examples of empires who have risen and fallen because of their bad treatment of the Jews. Anti-semitism has brought many individuals and Nations under God’s curse.
Genesis 12: 1 - 3...The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
I hope this study, if nothing else, has shown us that God still has a big plan for the Jewish people in the world’s future. We need to pray for all of our leaders that they return their allegiance back to God and to the state of Israel before we find ourselves embroiled in the curses of God and pray that it is not already too late. Pray for peace in Jerusalem and do all we can to support our Jewish Brothers & Sisters. If you feel led to support Israel, the Joshua Fund is a great place to sow your seeds of faith and be blessed.
Note: A guideline to this study came from the Grant R Jeffrey prophecy study Bible. I have been a student of Bible Prophecy for over twenty years now and have studied under the video & audio tutelage of Hal Lindsey & Grant Jeffrey. If Bible Prophecy intrigues you, I am posting links to both Hal’s and Grant’s sites below. Another great Prophecy teacher of today is Joel Rosenberg.
Grant R Jeffrey
Let’s go to God in prayer group…
Father God, we ask you today to forgive us of our sins and any anti-semitism we have harbored in our hearts. Give us a new heart today for you and our Jewish Brothers and Sisters. Show us ways you would have us to support them in these last days. We pray today for peace in Jerusalem and your hand of protection over them. Today we pray for our Country and it’s leaders, that they would turn their hearts back to you before it is too late. We pray this in the mighty and Holy name of your Son Jesus Christ… Amen
If you came to this study today and don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior please read the following scripture and they will show you the simplicity of God’s plan of Salvation.
Romans 3: 23...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
John 3: 16 - 18...16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Romans 10: 9 & 10...9. That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, pray with me wherever you are. Pray with a sincere heart and God will reach down from heaven, forgive your sins and give you new life….Lets pray…
Father God, I come to you in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place on the cross. I know I am not worthy, but I ask you today to forgive me of my sins (confess your sins to him now) and give me a new heart. I make Jesus the Lord of my life from this day and forward. Teach me how to love the God way, so I can love others. Teach me your Word and show me the purpose you have for my life. Thank you for forgiving me, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray…Amen
If you prayed that simple prayer with a sincere heart, your eternal destiny has been decided. God tells us that he takes that sin and casts it as far as the east is to the west. So forget the past and press on in your new walk with Christ. Remember that this is only the first step to Eternal Salvation. You now need to study God’s word, live your life for him and let your good works in Christ testify to the world of the new creature you have become. Now go shout your new found faith to the world as confession of Jesus Christ is part of your salvation. If you need help, or need a Bible, please contact me through the group…Tim
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