Tuesday, August 29, 2017

RETROFIT: "I Will Bless Them That Bless Thee" - Hal Lindsey (2008)


RETRO JAN 19, 2008

"I Will Bless Them That Bless Thee"

By Hal Lindsey

There is a legendary story concerning an agitated Frederick the Great who, in frustration, demanded from his cabinet that somebody provide him with proof of the existence of God. There was a momentary silence before one of his counselors spoke up: "Have you considered the Jew, your Majesty?" he asked.

The continuing existence of the Jew is proof positive of God's existence, just as the existence of a Jewish state is proof positive that we are living in the last days of human government as foretold by the Bible prophets of antiquity.

There are three distinct statements made within the Divine promise of blessing given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The first is that God will bless those who bless the Jews.

When the United States wrested its seat at the council of nations from England, it became the first nation on earth to grant full citizenship to Jews.

It was the first nation to allow the Jews an unrestricted vote. It was the first nation to recognize the incomparable blessing the Jewish people have been to humanity.

America's second president, John Adams, said, "The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other Nation. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern."

And no nation on the face of the planet today, or at any time in recorded history, has been more greatly blessed than the United States of America.

The second is that God promised that in the Jews "shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Without the Jews, there would be no Bible. Jesus came to earth as a Jew. Without the Jewish Jesus, there would be no Christianity.

Apart from the theological argument, a quick look at the last hundred years or so proves the promise isn't confined to religious blessings alone.

From 1901 to 2001, the world's 6 billion people competed for the scarce 844 Nobel Prizes that have been awarded. Among those 6 billion people are nearly 2 billion Muslims – roughly 20 percent of the global population.

Of those 2 billion Muslims, eight have been singled out to receive the Nobel Prize – (seven if you consider that one of them was a politically motivated award mistakenly given unrepentant terrorist Yasser Arafat).

In any case, Muslims account for less than 1 percent of the total Nobel Prizes awarded in the last hundred years.

In the middle of the 20th century, the Nazis exterminated some 6 million Jews, more than half the world's Jewish population. There are today about 14 million Jews left.

Even with half their number exterminated at the century's midpoint, 159 of the remaining 836 Nobel Prizes were awarded to Jews, or roughly 18.8 percent of all the Nobel Prizes awarded in Nobel's history.

(If you're keeping track, that is about 20 times as many prizes divided among 14 million Jews than were shared by the 2 billion Muslims worldwide)

In America, the influence of American Jews is hugely disproportionate to their numbers. Conspiracists point darkly to the "Jewish influence" in education, banking, law, medicine, government, media and entertainment as evidence of a Jewish conspiracy to control the world.

They accurately point out that American Jewry accounts for less than 2 percent of America's general population, but then draw their conclusions without the benefit of Scriptural discernment.

The "Jewish influence" in American life is part of God's blessing on America – the "Jewish conspiracy" canard given them in reward is part of God's curse on Israel.

"Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for My Name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations" (2 Chronicles 7:20).

The curse was partially lifted, beginning in 1948, but will not be entirely lifted until the close of the Tribulation Period.

"And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong" (Zechariah 8:13).

The Jews have returned to the Land, but they remain a "proverb and a byword among all nations" to this day.

Finally, God promised that He would "curse them that curse you." The precision with which God kept this promise is nothing less than astonishing.

During the Crusades from 1095 to 1270, Jews in Southern Europe fled to Spain, England, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe as the result of severe persecution and wholesale massacres of the Jews.

England turned out to be the wrong place to go, because in 1290 King Edward I expelled the Jews. King Charles II did the same thing in 1394 by forcing all Jews from France. Interestingly, Spanish Jews found peace and security in Spain and Portugal while those countries were under Muslim rule.

At that point in history, Europe was fractured, ignorant and in constant turmoil, while that same period of time is known to history as the Golden Age of Islam.

The Moors were world-renowned for their knowledge of astronomy, medicine and science, and the Islamic world boasted the most extensive libraries that had ever existed to that time.

In the 1400s, the Moors were kicked out of Spain by the Papal forces of Europe. In 1492, on the same day Columbus set sail for the New World, Spain expelled any unconverted Jews who had survived the Spanish Inquisition. This time they fled back to England where the Protestant reformation now welcomed them.

Spain's global empire lasted less than a century after it expelled its Jews, to be replaced by the Jew-friendly British Empire whose reach extended to every corner of the globe. In 1917, the British captured Palestine from the Muslims. The British Crown offered the Jews a homeland via the Balfour Declaration, and a year later, England won the First World War.

After the war, the British broke most of their promises to the Jews, restricted Jewish immigration to the Holy Land, and in the years since have increasingly turned their backs on the Jews that brought them such great blessings for more than 300 years.

The British Empire upon which "the sun never set" in 1900, had, by 1948, lost its last colony when Burma declared independence, and the British Empire was no more.

In 1933, Germany was among the most cultured and sophisticated nations in Europe. Old Berlin was Europe's Crown Jewel. The Nazis turned on the Jews, together with most of Eastern Europe, and 12 years later, Europe's Crown Jewel was a pile of burning rubble.

The Arab world, which had been so blessed during its Golden Age, collapsed into its present state of affairs, with most of it still operating as if electricity had never been harnessed.

The Arab Muslims supported Hitler, opposed Jewish immigration, waged repeated wars against Israel, deny Israel its rightful territory, and now mount a global jihad to finish Hitler's goal of total extermination. The backward nature of modern Islamic culture and society are the fruits of those efforts.

Historically, wherever the Jews were welcomed, that nation flourished and prospered. Where the Jews were persecuted, those nations floundered.

It is more than just coincidence; it is an identifiable historical pattern that has continued, without deviation, since the days of the Babylonian captivity.

Babylon prospered when its Jews prospered, it fell to Persia when Neboplasser turned against them. Persia prospered until it turned on the Jews, whereupon it fell to Alexander's Greece. And so on, throughout history, up to and including the impending collapse of the rabidly anti-Semitic United Nations.

God's Word is true, and Bible prophecy is always 100 percent accurate. Jesus said that before He returned, ALL Bible prophecy would be fulfilled – to the tiniest "jot and tittle" – (the two most insignificant characters in the Hebrew alphabet).

In tracing Israel's history from Babylon to the present, we see the incredible detail with which God keeps His Word. Although America continues to be Israel's principle protector, and continues to enjoy the concomitant blessings that come with it, America's good fortunes began to wane about the same time the White House forced Israel into the Oslo Agreement.

The "land for peace" formula called for Israel to give up some of the land of Promise in exchange for peace. In other words, it was a form of blackmail whose terms were drawn up in Washington and forced upon Israel for the express purpose of undoing what God had already done, including dividing Jerusalem and taking part of it from the Jews.

"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it" (Zechariah 12:3).

People can certainly deny any biblical connection, but the hard reality marches on with the growing shadow now falling across global society. Now it is America's turn to discover just how serious God was about the whole "blessing and cursing" thing.

And by the time circumstances force America to recognize the danger it faces, it will be too late to do anything to affect the outcome.

"So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My Mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it " (Isaiah 55:11).

RETROFIT: "The Prize" - Jack Kinsella (2008)


RETRO JAN 17, 2008

The Prize

By Jack Kinsella

When somebody dies, it is always an occasion for grief, even among Christians. I know, I know. When a Christian dies, he goes home to be with the Lord, it is cause for celebration, his suffering is past, and all that.

But I've been a Christian for more than half my life, and in that time, many of my loved ones have gone home to be with the Lord. I have to admit that I grieved their loss, in each and every case. For some whom I particularly loved, that grief is only diminished, but not gone, even after many years.

Paul was writing of physical death when he penned;

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." (2nd Thessalonians 4:13)

Does that mean I am ignorant? Or faithless? I don't think so. I believe in the certainty of salvation, the literal existence of a loving God and the literal existence of a place called "Heaven."

My grief isn't for the person who has gone to be with the Lord. My grief is for my own loss.

Knowing I will see my loved one in the 'sweet by and by' is a source of immense comfort, but it isn't the same as seeing them now.

You don't fully appreciate the measure of comfort offered by the certain knowledge salvation until someone you love dies without that hope. When that hope is absent, the grief is magnified beyond measure.

Your personal loss is now inconsequential to the complete and permanent loss of the hopeless. Your grief isn't for yourself, it is truly and tragically for that lost one.

Your loss is over, his is just beginning.

We've discussed at length in previous briefings what kind of eternity is in store for those who enter eternity without Christ.

Let's take a brief look at what the Bible tells us awaits the saved Christian on the other side.

Is Heaven a Real Place?

"In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3)

This is a proof text for the Rapture; Jesus promises that He will come again and receive us personally unto Himself.

That isn't the 2nd Coming, where He comes astride a white horse, with ten thousands of His saints, wielding a sword and exacting judgment on a rebellious earth.

The purpose of this secret 'coming' is to take the Church, the Bride of Christ, to the honeymoon mansion prepared for us.

But note that also that He is speaking of a real place. Heaven is His Father's house; within which are contained ancillary houses, (mansions) and "if it were not so, I would have told you," Jesus promises.

Elsewhere, Jesus teaches: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" (Matthew 6:19-20)

That could only apply to an actual, literal, real physical place.

What Does Heaven Look Like?

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (1st Corinthians 2:9)

Since the Bible says it is beyond our capacity to imagine, those images we are shown are simply that -- images.

John describes it in Revelation 21 and 22, streets of gold, inlaid with precious gems, but I like the picture in Revelation 22:1 of a "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal," with the Tree of Life growing on its banks, "and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations . . . and there shall be no more curse."

Heaven is a place of indescribable beauty, but it appeals to me as a place of perfect peace.

Do The Saved Go To Heaven Immediately?

Emphatically, yes. 2nd Corinthians 5:8 says: "to be absent from the body," [is] "to be present with the Lord."

Paul wrote to the Philippians: For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." (1:23)

Man is not 'a body', but rather, man has a body. My body is not me, it is my possession. These are my arms, my legs, my eyes, and my hands.

This is also my keyboard, my monitor and my computer. They are in both cases, my possessions, they are not me.

When I leave this body behind, I leave behind a possession, but that part that is 'me' is the eternal part, that which was created in the Image of God.

But From Body to Disembodied?

There is considerable Scriptural support for the conclusion that we already have some kind of temporary, physical body awaiting us in Heaven -- even before the resurrection of the dead in Christ at the Rapture.

Paul writes to the Corinthians;

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens . . . .

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: . . .

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." (2nd Corinthians 5:1,6,8)

Paul reveals here that when our bodies die (and are dissolved) there awaits us a "new building of God."

Since our resurrection bodies are our actual physical earthly remains, reformed in the image of Christ's Resurrected Body, the 'building of God not made with hands' that awaits us in Heaven cannot be one and the same.

Further, Luke 16 teaches that Lazarus had a finger to dip in cool water, that the rich man had a body to be tortured by the flame, and that the rich man recognized the forms of both Abraham and Lazarus.

Chronologically, this all took place prior to the death and Resurrection of Christ.

But they had bodies of some description, notwithstanding.

If Heaven is a Real, Physical Place, Where is It?

We tend to think of Heaven as 'up' and hell as 'down' -- but the earth is round.

If, when I die, I go 'up' to Heaven, does that mean that a guy in China who dies at that same moment goes 'down'?

The idea of Heaven being 'up' is derived from the points on a compass. Straight up is 'north'.

Christians often refer to the passing of a loved one into Heaven as a 'promotion.' Many obituaries announce one's 'promotion to Glory' rather than a death announcement.

The Psalmist reveals: "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south." (75:6)

Isaiah recorded the indictment of Lucifer as follows: "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north." (Isaiah 14:13)

Heaven, therefore, is a fixed location in 'the sides of the north' from our universe, orienting due north from our North Pole and somewhere north of the highest star.

Will We Know Each Other?

Undoubtedly. Jesus told the Pharisees; "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." (Luke 13:28)

Clearly, if they can see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets, they will also recognize them for who they are. Otherwise, why the weeping and gnashing of teeth?

At the Mount of Transfiguration, both Moses and Elijah were there. Moses and Elijah had never met. (But not only did they know each other, note that they still had the same names.)

The rich man recognized Abraham. Ok, but that's Abraham! (He also recognized Lazarus)

Paul writes: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1st Corinthians 13:12)

The Apostle Paul expected to be known when he entered Heaven. So do I.

Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die

Heaven is a real, literal, physical place that will we will inhabit with real, heavenly, physical (but temporary) bodies that we begin to inhabit at the moment our physical bodies are 'dissolved' (die).
According to the Bible, we will know and be known by our loved ones who have preceded us in death.
Although the literal, physical Heaven is beyond our capacity to imagine, we are assured by our Maker that it will exceed our most optimistic hopes (He should know), that it will be a place of eternal peace, and that our existence there will be one of unimaginable joy.
The curse will be lifted, man will no longer exist by the 'sweat of his brow' there will be no more sickness, no more death, and all our 'tears will be wiped away.'
We began this morning talking about grief and loss. We went on to examine Paul's admonition that 'we sorrow not, even as others who have no hope' -- yet we know that we do sorrow at the death of a loved one, blessed assurance notwithstanding.
But Paul began by saying, "I don't want you to be ignorant."
We can't imagine Heaven, but we can be certain that it exists, and that every single Christian who ever lived and died is still alive and well and physically in the presence of God and all their loved ones.
And we can be equally certain that they will still be there, waiting, when we get there.
If Heaven is such a great place, why is it that we can't really imagine it? Think that through. God put us on this earth with a mission.
It is our job to spread the message of Heaven and the path that leads to it. We are given to know just enough to fulfill that message.
There is an old saying to the effect that "everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die." It's only true because we really can't imagine the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.
That's how good it is. And how important the message we carry is. So important that God can't trust us with too much information about the Prize that awaits us at the end of the race.
Because if we really knew what awaits us, there'd be nobody left down here willing to wait and carry the message to the next runner.
For now, we'll just have to take His Word for it. On faith.

Monday, August 28, 2017

RETROFIT: "How to Destroy the Jews" - Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum (2008)

RETRO JAN 3, 2008

How to Destroy the Jews

By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

Throughout history, there have been numerous attempts to destroy the Jews, and all have failed. In this provocatively titled study, Dr. Fruchtenbaum addresses the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant. Can the Jews be destroyed? You'll be amazed at what Scripture has to say.


For the purpose of this study, we are going to work on the assumption that the Jews can be destroyed, and the question is merely a matter of "how." In dealing with any question that concerns Jewish survival or Jewish destruction, we are at the same time concerned with a specific philosophy of history. Based upon one’s philosophy of history, a person may look to the future, and, by applying their principles of philosophy of history, predict the way the future will turn out.


In dealing with the issue of Jewish destruction or Jewish survival, we are concerned with one specific philosophy of history that is expounded by the Word of God itself. In particular we find it in Genesis 12:1-3, where we read these words:

Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

In this covenant, God is essentially promising Abraham three things: first, that from him will come forth a people or a nation; second, to this nation God will give a land; and third, God will bless those who bless this nation and curse those who curse it.

Today we call the people or the nation that came forth from Abraham the Jewish nation or the Jewish people. A Jew is any descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all such descendants are Jews. It is irrelevant what an individual Jew may believe or disbelieve; he will always remain a Jew.

Very early in human history, God laid down a specific, divine principle of His philosophy of history: "Those who bless the Jews will be blessed, and those who curse the Jews will be cursed." Understanding this principle will help explain much in history that cannot be explained any other way.


The Abrahamic Covenant begins to work its way out immediately in the same chapter of Genesis (vv. 10-15), when Abram instructs Sarai to tell the Egyptians she is his sister. If anyone can be said to be at fault here, it is certainly not the king of Egypt. Abraham comes into Egypt telling a half-truth; with the result that Sarah is taken from him and put into Pharaoh’s harem. In the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant, God begins to operate on Abraham’s behalf and sent a plague on Pharaoh’s house (v 17).

We see a similar occurrence in Genesis 20. God had already promised that He would bless the Gentiles through the Jews and that the Jews would continue through Abraham’s son, Isaac. Now both of these incidents occurred before Isaac was born, and I see here a definite attempt to keep Isaac from being born by taking away his future mother. If Satan could keep Isaac from being born, then the Jews would die out with the death of Abraham. Unknowingly, Abimelech cursed Abraham in such a way as to destroy the Jews, and now God curses Abimelech.

When God operates on the cursing aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant, He works on the sub-principle: curse for curse in kind. The specific type of curse used against the Jews will now be used against the "curser." This is seen in verse 18 of this chapter:

For Jehovah had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

It was now the house of Abimelech that faced possible extinction because of the inability of the women in his household to give birth. After Abraham prayed for Abimelech upon the latter’s restoring Sarah, the curse was lifted. This first attempt to destroy the Jews failed, and Isaac was born as recorded in the following chapter.

Just as the cursing aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant had begun to operate on the individual level, so did the blessing aspect.

This is seen in the life of Jacob in Genesis 30:25-30. At the outset, one thing should be made very clear: Laban was no worshipper of the true God. When his nephew Jacob came bringing the God Jehovah, Laban, being a very ecumenical individual, was happy to include Jehovah among his many other gods as well. Nevertheless, this pagan recognized something: he recognized that this God of Jacob, whoever He was, was blessing him because of his relationship with Jacob, the Jew. The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant are based purely on the relationship with the Jews. Thus Laban, the pagan, was blessed because he had a proper relationship with Jacob, the Jew.

The Book of Genesis is, among other things, a record of the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant on the individual level. God’s philosophy of history has begun to operate on the principle of blessing those who bless the Jews and cursing those who curse them in kind.


When we come to the Book of Exodus, we begin dealing with the national level of God’s philosophy of history; that is, we now deal with Israel as a nation. In the first chapter of the Book of Exodus, Egypt sets out to curse Israel. The curse is in two phases.

The first is found in Exodus 1:8-11. Egypt is the first nation that can be called truly anti-Semitic in the modern sense of the term. In the first phase of her curse against Israel, she puts the Jews into slavery.

Later a second phase is initiated in verses 15-16 and 22. Not only is Egypt the first anti-Semitic nation, she is the first nation to attempt genocide against the Jews. So now, in this second phase, she is out to destroy the newborn sons by means of drowning.

Now God waits four hundred years before delivering His people. Yet another sub-principle involved in the Abrahamic Covenant is: sometimes God will delay a long time before keeping His promise to the Jews, but sooner or later that promise will be kept.

Finally, after four hundred years, God begins to work, and again we see the sub-principle: curse for curse in kind. The curse against Israel was to kill the newborn sons. Now God sends ten plagues upon Egypt, the last resulting in the death of every first-born Egyptian son. As Israel leaves Egypt and the Egyptian army chases in hot pursuit, God destroys the Egyptian army by means of drowning.

Another example that portrays the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant is the Book of Esther. In Esther 3:6, a man by the name of Haman sets out with his curse against the Jews:

But he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had made known to him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

But, in the end, it is curse for curse in kind, as we read in Esther 7:10:

So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.


The New Testament demonstrates the continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant and the principle of God’s philosophy of history. An example of this is found in Luke 7:2-10, when Jesus healed the Roman centurion’s servant. At this point in history the Romans were not friends of the Jews, but there was something different about this particular Roman. The Jewish leaders themselves testified that: he loveth our nation, and himself built us our synagogue (v. 5). We see here that Jesus honors the faith of a Gentile Roman soldier—a centurion no less—because of his relationship with the Jewish people with whom he was living in the city of Capernaum.


Many events in history that are labeled peculiar, unusual or impossible to understand, can best be understood if viewed as a result of the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant. There have been numerous attempts to destroy the Jews, and all have failed. Essentially, the four methods that were used during the biblical period have been the same ones used ever since, and these methods will always fail in destroying the Jews.

A. Spain

Because of its great Armada, the Spanish Empire controlled vast parts of the world. In 1492 the Spanish Edict of Expulsion ordering all Jews to leave the country was issued. When she expelled her Jews, she expelled her scholars, doctors, and bankers. The Spanish economy thus began to crumble and collapse. Finally, the source of Spain’s strength, the Armada, sailed against England and was destroyed, not so much by the British navy as by a storm at sea. The Abrahamic Covenant had worked itself out. She, who expelled the Jews, was then expelled from her holdings in the Western Hemisphere until nothing remained.

B. England

There was a time when England was blessed by God because of her favorable attitude to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of World War I showed England’s favorable attitude towards establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine, later captured from the Turks. But then she turned against the Jews; England began to limit Jewish immigration. This policy trapped many Jews, preventing their flight from the Nazis. As a result, the British Empire began to crumble.

C. Germany

When Hitler came to power, anti-Semitism became the official government policy. As the Germans in 1939 drew the world again into war, this policy began to spread to the occupied parts of Europe. As one nation after another fell, the Jews were taken and moved into the slum sections of major cities such as Warsaw. Concrete walls were built around these ghettos, and the Jews were slowly beaten and starved. Six million were finally exterminated.

But after six years Germany was no longer the conqueror, but the conquered. For a generation the Germans, who once built walls around the Jews, had a wall cutting their once proud capital of Berlin in half. To this day, Nazi war criminals are forced to live in hiding as they are sought out by Jews.

D. Jordan

The fourth example involves the four Arab states of Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt, all of whom combined their forces in 1967 with the avowed purpose of destroying Israel. The Arabs cursed the Jewish State with war and were defeated during the Six-Day War.

All this provides us with a unique picture of the sub-principle: curse for curse in kind. The philosophy of history involved in the Abrahamic Covenant provides the principles for understanding how the Gentile nations are related to the Jews.


After World War II, the main persecutor of the Jews was the former Soviet Union. She troubled the Jews inside her territory and was allied with the Arab States in their stated aim to destroy the State of Israel. Rather quickly, the Communist Empire collapsed. As for Russia, the Scriptures in Ezekiel 38:1-39:16 have already declared how Russia will come to its end. So even in prophecy, what we see working its way out is the principle of the Abrahamic Covenant.

A second example is the Campaign of Armageddon resulting in the second coming of Messiah (Zech. 12:2-314:1-4).The event which brings about Israel’s national regeneration, the return of Yeshua the Messiah, and the dispensing of Israel’s enemies once and for all, is when all nations come against Jerusalem to battle. So even in prophecy, what we see working its way out is the principle of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Conclusion: philosophies of history based on non-biblical presuppositions fail to provide any answer to Jewish survival. This is clear from the very writings of those who tried to explain history by a certain system only to have it crack down in the face of the Jews. Not only have Gentile historians looking at the Jews come to a dead end in trying to explain them, but the Jews themselves have not been able to explain their existence in any consistent way. The Messianic believer, however, has the answer to the secret of Jewish survival. The answer lies in this cry of the last of the Old Testament prophets, Malachi 3:6:

For I, Jehovah, change not; therefore ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

The Jewish believer, then, can give the proper explanation of the role the Messianic people play in history: Their destruction is impossible.

The believer is the best defender of the Jews against all forms of anti-Semitism, teaching God’s attitude towards it and warning of God’s judgment if it persists. The Messianic believer can provide the one method that will work in destroying the Jews. If you want to destroy the Jews, then you must first destroy the sun, moon, and stars (Jer. 31:35-37).


Both Jewish believers and Gentile believers have recognized the need for world-wide evangelism in fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). However, Jewish believers have recognized an aspect of the biblical method of evangelism that the major part of Gentile Christianity has either ignored, denied, or simply rebelled against. This particular method or procedure for evangelism is clearly spelled out in Romans 1:16:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

There is only one verb that controls the two remaining clauses: the verb is. It is in the Greek present tense, emphasizing continuous action. The gospel is continuously God’s power to save, and it is continuously to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. If we tried to interpret this verse, as some have, to make it simply mean that the gospel came to the Jews first but this is no longer true, the verse would also have to mean that the gospel was once God’s power to salvation, but no longer is. The gospel is the power of God, and the proper procedure is for it to go to the Jew first, regardless of the method of evangelism (Acts 13:514;14:116:12-1317:1-21016-1718:141919:1828:16-17Rom. 1:1611:13-14).

The peculiarity about Jewish missions is that regardless of one’s calling to Gentile missions, he is still to go to the Jew first. Even though Paul’s unique calling and ministry was to the Gentiles, the great apostle recognized the principle of Romans 1:16, and everywhere Paul went, he always went to the Jew first.

The blessing aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant is available to the local church that will carry out the principle of Romans 1:16 both in active and passive evangelism. The gospel, whenever it goes out and by whatever means it goes out, should do so to the Jew first.


Psalm 122:6 says: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee.A special blessing is guaranteed to those who will pray for the peace of Jerusalem. One thing the Scriptures make clear is that the peace of Jerusalem is tied in with the second coming of Messiah, and the prerequisite to the second coming is Israel’s salvation. Those individuals who pray regularly for the salvation of the Jews are guaranteed certain blessings not available by any other means. 

RETROFIT: "The Bible-Believing Christian and the Jewish People" - Francis Schaeffer Jr. (2007)


RETRO DEC 29, 2007

The Bible-Believing Christian and the Jewish People

By Francis Schaeffer Jr.

We live in an age in which anti-Semitism is a powerful force. In many lands it has resulted in the death of countless Jews. Even in our own land it shows itself in various guises from time to time. Even among those who call themselves fundamentalist Christians we find an occasional individual who spends a large portion of his time assailing the Jews.

Considering anti-Semitism, the first thing that fixes itself in my thinking is the fact that Christ was a Jew. When we open the New Testament toMatthew 1:1, we find the very first claim made concerning Christ is that he sprang from Abraham and was a descendant of David. The Bible does not say that Jesus just happened to be a Jew, but the Word emphasizes over and over again that he was a Jew.

When He was eight days old, He was taken to the Temple and circumcized as was every Jewish male. Therefore, we must remember that Jesus bore in His body the physical mark of the Jewish people. When He was twelve, He was dedicated at the Temple, again emphasizing that His Jewish race and Jewish faith were not incidental to Him, but that from His early training they were His vital human background. During His public ministry, as an adult man, the Bible teaches that while repudiating purely human Jewish traditions, His life carefully conformed to Old Testament standards. In fact, He lived in such a way that even the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled fully in Him. He was the Jew of all Jews.

In His public ministry we find Him dealing almost exclusively with the Jews. Hardly ever did He touch a Gentile life. The twelve disciples were all Jews. The earliest church consisted completely of Jews. It was Peter, the Jew, who spoke to the proselyte, Cornelius. It was the believing Jews, scattered abroad by the persecution following the death of Stephen, who took the Good News to Antioch of Syria where the first Gentile Christian Church was formed. The missionary who opened up the heathen Roman Empire to the preaching of the Gospel was the Jew, Paul.

And if we ask ourselves why it was that the Jews received such an important place in the early Christian Church, we must realize that it was not an afterthought in the plan of God, but that for two thousand years God had been working in history to bring forth this very fact. God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees as the first Jew when the earth had completely apostasized from the living God. He promised him that the land should be his, that he should have numerous seed, but above all things, that all the world should be blessed through him. God called forth Abraham for this specific purpose, that through him the Messiah should come. The Jews for two thousand years, in the providence of God, were the cradle of the coming Redeemer.

As we examine the history of that two thousand years, we find God constantly reaffirming the promise of the coming Messiah to the Jews, so that not only was the promise made to Abraham but to Isaac and Jacob, and then it was narrowed down to the tribe of Judah, and then to the royal family—the family of David. As the years passed by it was also promised that He should be born in Bethlehem, that He should be a suffering Messiah, but also that He should rule in Palestine on behalf of His people, the Jews.

In these two thousand years in which the way was prepared for the coming of the Messiah, all the earth was in darkness but for the light that shone in Israel. While our ancestors worshipped we know not what, but certainly not the living God, the Jews were called God’s chosen people. They were separated from all other peoples of the earth. They were loved of God, a kingdom of priests. And even in their times of sin, God kept His hand upon them in order that a remnant should be His from which the Anointed One should come. Nay, Jesus was not a Jew by accident, nor as an incidental thing in the plan of God; if Jesus had not been born a Jew, according to both the Old Testament and the New, He could not have been our Saviour.

As for the present time in which we live, Romans 11:17 - 24 teaches that we Gentile believers should not boast against the Jews, the natural branches, for if God spared not the natural branches, we are told to take heed lest He spare not us. How clearly it is emphasized that if we who were wild branches by nature, were grafted contrary to nature into the good olive tree, much more shall the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree. And what does Ephesians 2:14 stress to us but that at Jesus’ death the middle wall of partition was broken down between Jew and Gentile—not that the Jew should be cast aside, but that we should have place with the Jew by faith. Abraham is now our father, and as we have put our faith in Christ, we are now spiritual Jews.

For the future the Word of God is explicit still. In Romans 11:25 it is made clear that the blindness which now in part is happened to Israel is not forever but until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And then what is to come to pass? The 26th verse tells us that all Israel shall then be saved, when the Deliverer shall turn away all ungodliness from Jacob. The 29th verse is a verse that we love and use for ourselves, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” We may take it to ourselves because God never breaks any promise, but let us notice that the primary application in this place is to the Jew. God has promised great things for Israel as a nation, and this Word here tells us that He will bring them to pass. If He does not bring them to pass, then the gifts and calling of God are not without repentance. Clearly again, inZechariah 12:10 it is stated that the day will come when the Jews“shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son.” In the day when Israel shall be saved they shall look upon Jesus and know that in His first coming He was their true Messiah. Again, it is not only the Old Testament which promises that the land of Palestine will once more belong to the Jews, but in the New Testament, in Luke 21:24, we are told that Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles only until the time of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled. Therefore, the Word tells us that the day will come when all Israel shall be saved, and the Jews will look upon Jesus as their true Messiah, and also that the Promised Land will be theirs once more. It is not only for the past, not only for the present, but also for the future, that we who are now Christ’s should love the Jew.

We cannot expect the Gentile, who merely uses the term “Christian” to designate the difference between Gentile and Jew, to love the Jew, but we who are Christians indeed, in that we have been saved through faith in Christ, should love His ancient people. Above all things in this regard we should keep constantly in our minds that our Lord Himself was a Jew—born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew. Also, the great majority of those heroes of the faith I personally long to see when I go to be with that Lord are Jews. I want to see Abraham; and he is a Jew. And I want to see Isaac; he is a Jew. I want to see Jacob; and he is a Jew. I want to see Joseph; and he is a Jew. I want to see Moses; and he is a Jew. I want to see Joshua; and he is a Jew. I want to see Gideon and the other judges; and they are Jews. I want to see the prophets—Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha, and all the rest; and they are Jews. I want to see Daniel and Ezra and Nehemiah; they are Jews. I want to see John; and he is a Jew. I want to see James; and he is a Jew. I want to see Peter; and he is a Jew. I want to see Paul; and he is a Jew. These are only some of those I long to meet who bear the name of Jew. How could I hate the Jew?

And if this is not enough for those of us who are Bible-believing Christians, let us note the command of God in Romans 11:31. It tells us clearly what our attitude in this age should be to natural Israel. We should have mercy unto them. And, my friends, mercy and anti-Semitism in any form do not live in the same household. We cannot seek to win them individually to the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour if we despise them as a people in our hearts. Not long ago an influential Jew in New York City, the Labor Editor of one of the New York papers, quoted to me a little poem which he said was widely repeated among the Jews of that city. As I have considered this rhyme, I have found it more than an interesting jingle. It speaks wisdom concerning the man who bears the name of Christian and yet is anti-Semitic in his thinking.

“How odd of God to choose the Jew, But not so odd as those who choose The Jewish God but hate the Jew.”

Saturday, August 26, 2017

RETROFIT: "Peter’s Prophecy" -Britt Gillette (2007)

RETRO DEC 3, 2007

Peter’s Prophecy

By Britt Gillette

Almost 2,000 years ago, the apostle Peter prophesied that in the
last days scoffers would appear, arguing against the possibility
of Christ’s return. The very argument he said they would use is
today one of the most common among skeptics:
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days
scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own
desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus
is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors,
everything has remained the same since the world was first
created.’” 2 Peter 3:3-4 (NLT)

In addition to ignoring Christ’s own promise to return, this
argument is built upon a faulty premise: that “from before the
times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since
the world was first created.” Is this really true?

In light of bible prophecy, simple observation would argue

Things Continue Just As They Have For Nearly 2,000 Years

Just as the apostle Peter prophesied nearly 2,000 years ago, this
is the most common argument put forth by the non-believing
public. They argue that same signs of Christ’s return have
appeared to previous generations – all of whom believed Jesus
would return in their lifetime. But is this true? In making this
argument, such people regard their proclamation that “everything
has remained just the same since Jesus left” as some sort of
self-evident truth. And, as we all know, things are pretty much
the same now as they were in the first century. Right?

Does anyone really believe this? Or do they simply delude
themselves into believing it?

This is such an absurd position that, in order to argue it, one
must believe the following events are normal and not
unprecedented as history would otherwise suggest:

1) The Gathering of the Jews in Israel

Numerous biblical prophecies foretold of the re-gathering of
Israel as a nation. Approximately 2,700 years ago, God revealed
to the prophet Ezekiel a “Valley of Dry Bones” (Ezekiel Chapter
37). God spoke of these bones (the Jews) gathered together and
covered with flesh and muscles (re-gathered from the nations)
with life being breathed into them (a dead nation brought to life
once again).
“Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones represent the
people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones
– all hope is gone.’ Now give them this message from the
Sovereign Lord: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and
cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land
of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I
am the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:11-13 (NLT)

Beginning in the late 19th Century, the birth of the Zionist
movement culminated in the gradual emigration of Jews from all
over the world to resettle the land of Israel. Each decade the
number of returning Jews increased, until finally the nation of
Israel came to life once again in 1948.

The claim that “everything has remained the same” since Christ
first appeared doesn’t account for the nation of Israel. In 1948,
Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled right before the eyes of bible
prophecy skeptics, and the world hasn’t been the same since.

2) Israel Becomes a Nation in a Single Day

In addition, the bible prophesied that when Israel became a
nation again, it would do so in a single day:
“Who has ever seen or heard of anything as strange as this? Has
a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come
forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains
begin, the baby will be born; the nation will come forth. Would I
ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver
it?’ asks the Lord. ‘No! I would never keep this nation from
being born,’ says your God.” Isaiah 66:8-9 (NLT)

This event occurred in our generation on May 14, 1948. From the
year A.D. 70 to A.D. 1948 – the overwhelming majority of the time
since Christ first appeared – Israel did not exist as a nation.

The claim that “everything has remained the same” since Christ
first appeared just doesn’t make sense. The nation of Israel
exists once again, and just as the bible stated, it came into
existence in a single day.

3) Jerusalem and Judah Will Become a Burden to the World

The bible prophesied that, in the last days, Jerusalem and Judah
would become a burden to the world. In fact, they would become
irresistible targets to neighboring nations who would send their
armies to besiege and conquer:
“I will make Jerusalem and Judah like an intoxicating drink to
all the nearby nations that send their armies to besiege
Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone, a
burden for the world. None of the nations who try to lift it will
escape unscathed.” Zechariah 12:2-3 (NLT)

This prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes. Since
1948, the nation of Israel has been besieged, at one time or
another, by every neighboring nation in its geographic vicinity.
Against great odds, the modern state of Israel has fought and
survived four major wars – in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 – as
well as numerous violent conflicts. Today, the City of Jerusalem,
and Israel itself, are the epicenter of world attention. The Arab
threat of war over Jewish possession of Israel and Jerusalem is a
constant threat to world peace and international stability,
making this geographic area a heavy burden on the world’s

The idea that this is simply “business as usual” or that
“everything has remained the same” since Christ first appeared is
utterly ridiculous. Despite its historical prominence, Jerusalem
has never been “a burden for the world” until our generation.

4) The Rise of the Gog/Magog Alliance

The bible prophesies that, in the last days, Russia and a
coalition of Muslim nations led by Iran will gather a horde of
armies together in an effort to wipe Israel off the map. Israel
will appear defenseless in the face of this massive invasion
force with none of its worldly allies willing to come to its
defense. However, God is Israel’s greatest ally, and He vows to
make his presence known to the entire world by supernaturally
destroying the armies allied against Israel:
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this
message from the Sovereign Lord: When my people are living in
peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself. You will come
from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry
and your mighty army, and you will cover the land like a cloud.
This will happen in the distant future. I will bring you against
my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by
what happens to you. Then all the nations will know that I am the
Lord.” Ezekiel 38:14-16 (NLT)

Is this business as usual? A coalition of these particular
nations has never existed in history – at least until the present
generation. Today, Russia and Iran are integral partners in a
strategic anti-Western alliance. The other nations mentioned by
Ezekiel are all anti-Western Muslim nations, and it’s not
unreasonable to believe they would join Russia and Iran in a
quest to destroy Israel.

5) Calls for Global Government

The bible also prophesies that, in the last days, one man will
rule the world via global government:
“And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people
and language and nation.” Revelation 13:7 (NLT)

Although this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled, our generation
has been witness to unprecedented global cooperation and
interdependence. Ours is the first generation in history that
could seriously consider global government. In fact, given the
current trend of technological development, global government
will soon become a necessity.

As a result, the claim that “everything has remained the same”
since Christ first appeared is just plain absurd. The prospect of
a truly global government has never been realistic for any
generation in human history. But for our generation, it remains a
very real possibility.

6) The Increasing Power of Human Technology

Is human technology the same now as it was in past generations?

Prior to our generation, most students of bible prophecy found it
extremely difficult to comprehend certain end times prophecies.
However, with the development of advanced technologies, many
students can now see how such prophecies could be fulfilled.

For instance, how could the whole world “stare at the bodies” of
the two witnesses in Revelation 11?
“When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out
of the bottomless pit will declare war against them. He will
conquer them and kill them. And their bodies will lie in the main
street of Jerusalem, the city which is called ‘Sodom’ and
‘Egypt,’ the city where their Lord was crucified. And for three
and a half days, all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will
come to stare at their bodies. No one will be allowed to bury
them. All the people who belong to this world will give presents
to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had
tormented them.” Revelation 11:7-10 (NLT)

For the first time in history, this prophecy can be fulfilled
through worldwide satellite coverage on cable news networks. As
of now, the poorest people in the world don’t have access to
cable news networks, but the cost of video technology is
declining rapidly. As a result, it’s not difficult to imagine a
day in the not too distant future when the entire world
population has access to high-bandwidth video feeds via cell
phones, PDAs, or other handheld devices, making it easy for them
to view an unfolding event in real time.

The amazing increase in the power of human technology in our
generation opens the door for the fulfillment of such prophecies
as the world looking at the bodies of the two witnesses, the
Antichrist controlling world commerce, and the Antichrist
conquering the entire world in a short period of time. Therefore,
with each passing day, the notion that “everything has remained
the same” since Christ first appeared continues to lose its

7) A Dramatic Increase in Travel and Knowledge

Over 2,600 years ago, it was revealed to the prophet Daniel that
the end times would be marked by a noticeable increase in human
travel and knowledge:
“But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book
until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there, and
knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12:4 (NLT)

According to the Book of Daniel, two things will markedly
increase just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ:

1) Transportation

2) Knowledge

Not only have transportation and knowledge increased, but their
power and widespread use have done so exponentially. Simple
observation has clearly shown this to be the case in the
centuries since Daniel first recorded this prophecy.

Knowledge and transportation are now widely available to both
rich and poor now more than at any other time in human history.
In generations past, most people never wandered more than a short
distance from their childhood homes. Today, people routinely fly
to the other side of the globe and back. In generations past, the
world’s collective knowledge could be summed up in few hundred
books. Today, millions of books and billions of Internet
documents illustrate the unprecedented explosion in human

Given the clearly observable dramatic increase in humanity’s
knowledge base and ability to travel, how can anyone buy into the
notion that “everything has remained the same since before the
times of our ancestors”?


The seven prominent events outlined above are not the only events
unique to our generation, yet they serve as a clear signal to the
human race that ours is the generation that will witness Christ’s
“Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass
nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.” Matthew
24:28 (NLT)

Obviously, everything has not remained the same since Christ
first appeared. Just look at the world around us. Yet for
hundreds of years after Christ first appeared, the world was
relatively unchanged. Today, there’s no denying it is
significantly different.

Christ commanded us to be alert to this time – to be alert to the
signs of His coming. In fact, He rebuked the Pharisees for not
recognizing the signs of His first coming, for they had full
knowledge of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, yet still
chose not to believe in Him:
“One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus’ claims
by asking him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven. He
replied, ‘You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair
weather tomorrow, red sky in the morning means foul weather all
day.’ You are good at reading the weather signs in the sky, but
you can’t read the obvious signs of the times!’” Matthew 16:1-3

Jesus fully expected the world to be waiting and to recognize the
time of His first coming. As we patiently await His second
coming, he holds our generation to the same standard of
accountability. We have full access to, and knowledge of, the
prophecies of His second coming. The signs of His return are loud
and clear. They are all around us. Israel is once again a nation.
Travel and knowledge have increased exponentially. The Gog/Magog
Alliance is forming, and scoffers are abundant.

People who argue Jesus isn’t coming back because “ever since His
time things have remained exactly the same” regard themselves as
clever and discerning. They view those of us who hold this hope
as fools engaged in wishful thinking. Yet, it is their logic
which is foolishness in the eyes of God. Simple observation
forces their argument to collapse like a house of cards, and the
folly of their unbelief will be exposed on the day of His return.
For just as Peter prophesied that scoffers would use a faulty
premise in arguing against Christ’s return, he also affirmed
Christ’s promise that the day of Lord will certainly come:
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is
like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a
day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some
people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not
want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But
the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.” 2
Peter 3:8-10 (NLT)

Jesus is coming soon. The wise person will take note and make
preparations accordingly.
“See, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay all
according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First
and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12-13

RETROFIT: "Isaiah 17: Destruction of Damascus" - Britt Gillette - "NOT PSALM 83 WAR" - Michael James Stone

#Shortly after this Publication IN 2007

A false teaching and many books called Psalm 83 War
became popular and completely false.

Using the Prophecy in Isaiah proponents took  Davids prayer
and turned it into Prophecy by pure conjecture.

Prophecy Authors often have to sell books to stay in business
and this was no exception but it started quite a few heretical teachings.

TWO of more than hundreds of articles disproving a Psalm 83 War are 
included here and the Original Article "Destruction of Damascus" did not claim 
a War to come, merely recognized similarities.

-Michael James Stone 

Psalm 83

RETRO NOV 26, 2007

Isaiah 17: Destruction of Damascus

By Britt Gillette

In the last days, the Bible tells us of a horrible series of
events that will take place in the lands of Israel and Syria. One
of these events is the disappearance of Damascus as one of the
premiere cities in the world. The oldest continuously inhabited
city on the planet, Damascus has witnessed at least 5,000 years
of human history, and some historians believe the city actually
dates back to the seventh millennium BC. In fact, Paul was on the
road to Damascus when Christ first appeared to Him, an event that
transformed not only his life, but the course of human history.

In the very near future, Damascus will once again play a major
role in human events. The prophet Isaiah provides us with God’s
commentary on a future conflict between Damascus and Israel,
and in so doing, he reveals certain prophecies which have been
partially fulfilled in the past. However, the ultimate fulfillment of

Isaiah 17 remains in the future. The current existence of
Damascus, which will one day cease to be a city, as well as the
historical absence of the coalition of nations prophesied to attack
Israel and be destroyed by God, is proof that Isaiah 17 prophesies
events yet future.

This is what God revealed to the prophet Isaiah:
“This message came to me concerning Damascus: ‘Look, Damascus
will disappear! It will become a heap of ruins. The cities of
Aroer will be deserted. Sheep will graze in the streets and lie
down unafraid. There will be no one to chase them away. The
fortified cities of Israel will also be destroyed, and the power
of Damascus will end. The few left in Aram will share the fate of
Israel’s departed glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 17:1-3

These opening verses paint a bleak picture. The city of Damascus
will become a heap of ruins, utterly destroyed. Few, if any,
buildings will be left standing. The once great city will be
devoid of human life and will become home to all manner of
wildlife in the absence of humans to chase them away.

According to these verses, the cities of Aroer, which are located
on the northern bank of the Arnon River just east of the Dead
Sea, will also be deserted. However, the passage doesn’t say they
will be destroyed in the same manner as Damascus, just that they
will be deserted. It may be that people simply flee these cities
out of fear.

In addition, many of the fortified cities in northern Israel will
also be destroyed. Those few who remain in Aram, 38 miles south
southeast of Damascus, will share the fate of these northern
Israeli cities.
“In that day the glory of Israel will be very dim, for poverty
will stalk the land. Israel will be abandoned like the grain
fields in the valley of Rephaim after the harvest. Only a few of
its people will be left, like the stray olives left on the tree
after the harvest. Only two or three remain in the highest
branches, four or five out on the tips of the limbs. Yes, Israel
will be stripped bare of people,’ says the Lord, the God of
Israel.” Isaiah 17:4-6 (NLT)

The breadth and scope of destruction is clearly illustrated as
God describes the Israeli landscape as stripped bare of people.
Only a small fraction of people either choose to stay in the land
or else survive what is a massive holocaust, leaving only a few
inhabitants who struggle in poverty.
“Then at last the people will think of their Creator and have
respect for the Holy One of Israel. They will no longer ask their
idols for help or worship what their own hands have made. They
will never again bow down to their Asherah poles or burn incense
on the altars they built.” Isaiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

As a result of this event, the people of Israel will once again
turn to God Almighty. Currently, the nation of Israel is
predominantly secular in nature. Other biblical passages infer
that this will change as the prophesied rebuilding of the Temple
in the last days indicates a spiritual resurgence among the Jews
of Israel. Nevertheless, this passage clearly indicates the
people of Israel will turn away from all false idols and gods.

Knowing that this will happen, we must ask: why does it happen?
The answer is found in the verses that follow:
“Their largest cities will be as deserted as overgrown thickets.
They will become like the cities the Amorites abandoned when the
Israelites came here so long ago. Why? Because you have turned
from the God who can save you – the Rock who can hide you. You
may plant the finest imported grapevines, and they may grow so
well that they blossom on the very morning you plant them, but
you will never pick any grapes from them. Your only harvest will
be a load of grief and incurable pain.” Isaiah 17:9-11 (NLT)

The devastation that overshadows Israel will come about because
Israel has “turned from the God who can save them.” All the hard
work performed prior to this event will be lost. Those who have
been distracted by the things of this world will be disappointed,
for they have forgotten God, and by putting faith in the things
of this world, they will ultimately be disappointed. Their only
harvest will be “a load of grief and incurable pain.” This grief
will be brought to a climax when, in the midst of their
suffering, the nation of Israel faces an imminent invasion:
“Look! The armies rush forward like waves thundering toward the
shore. But though they roar like breakers on a beach, God will
silence them. They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind or
like dust whirling before a storm. In the evening Israel waits in
terror, but by dawn its enemies are dead. This is the just reward
of those who plunder and destroy the people of God.” Isaiah
17:12-14 (NLT)

While Syria and Israel lie in ruin, the enemies of Israel will
view her suffering as an opportunity to invade, their ultimate
goal to destroy her forever. However, God has a different plan in
mind, and He will destroy these invaders Himself. A more in depth
illustration of this attack is foreseen in Psalm 83:
“O God, don’t sit idly by, silent and inactive! Don’t you hear
the tumult of your enemies? Don’t you see what your arrogant
enemies are doing? They devise crafty schemes against your
people, laying plans against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they
say, ‘let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the
very memory of its existence.’ This was their unanimous decision.
They signed a treaty as allies against you – these Edomites and
Ishmaelites, Moabites and Hagrites, Gebalites, Ammonites, and
Amalekites, and people from Philistia and Tyre. Assyria has
joined them, too, and is allied with the descendants of Lot. Do
to them as you did to the Midianites or as you did to Sisera and
Jabin at the Kishon River. They were destroyed at Endor, and
their decaying corpses fertilized the soil. Let their mighty
nobles die as Oreb and Zeeb did. Let all their princes die like
Zebah and Zalmunna, for they said, ‘Let us seize for our own use
these pasturelands of God!’ O my God, blow them away like
whirling dust, like chaff before the wind! As a fire roars
through a forest and as a flame sets mountains ablaze, chase them
with your fierce storms; terrify them with your tempests. Utterly
disgrace them until they submit to your name, O Lord. Let them be
ashamed and terrified forever. Make them failures in everything
they do, until they learn that you alone are called the Lord,
that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth.”
Psalm 83 (NLT)

So how do we know that Psalm 83 describes the same scene
envisioned in Isaiah 17? Let’s compare the two. Here’s how the
intentions of Israel’s enemies are described:

Plunder & Destruction
“This is the just reward of those who
plunder and destroy the people of God.” Isaiah 17:14 (NLT)

“They devise crafty schemes against your people,
laying plans against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let
us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory
of its existence.’ This was their unanimous decision.” Psalm
83:3-5 (NLT)

“for they said, ‘Let us seize for our own use these
pasturelands of God!” Psalm 83:12 (NLT)

Here’s how the fate of Israel’s enemies are described:
“They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind or like dust
whirling before a storm.” Isaiah 17:13 (NLT)

“O my God, blow them away like whirling dust, like chaff before
the wind!” Psalm 83:13 (NLT)

From the description of their fate alone, it is reasonable to
conclude that the armies of Isaiah 17:12 are the same nations who
sign a treaty against the Lord in Psalm 83:5-8. Below is a list
of those nations and their modern geographical equivalents:

Edomites = Jordan / Parts of the West Bank
Ishmaelites = The Arab people
Moabites = Jordan / Parts of the West Bank
Hagrites = Jordan / The Arab people
Gebalites = Lebanon
Ammonites = Jordan
Amalekites = Southern Israel / Gaza
Philistia = Gaza
Tyre = Lebanon
Assyria = Syria / Parts of Turkey and Iraq
The Descendants of Lot = Jordan

By studying the geographical history of these ancient people and
places, we can uncover which nations they currently compose.
According to Psalm 83, in the aftermath of the destruction of
northern Israel and Damascus, Israel will be invaded by armies
from Jordan, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. All of
these locations are heavily populated by the enemies of Israel

An Expanding War?

But are the nations cited in Psalm 83 the only nations involved
in this attack? It’s quite possible that additional conspirators
are named in the Book of Ezekiel. Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 might
well foreshadow the war of Gog and Magog.

In Ezekiel 38-39, an enormous coalition of nations, “a vast and
awesome horde” – will roll down on Israel “like a storm and cover
the land like a cloud” Ezekiel 38:9 (NLT). This prophesied future
war in Ezekiel has many similarities to Isaiah 17:12-14. Both
prophets foresee a time when enemy armies rush toward Israel
while she awaits unprepared. Both prophets foresee God’s
instantaneous destruction of Israel’s enemies. And in both
scenarios, the marching armies intend to plunder and destroy the
people of Israel:

“You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled
with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy
these people who live in such confidence!” Ezekiel 38:11 (NLT)

“But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will
ask, ‘Who are you to rob them of silver and gold? Who are you to
drive away their cattle and seize their goods and make them
poor?’” Ezekiel 38:13 (NLT)

Plunder & Destruction
“This is the just reward of those who plunder and destroy the
people of God.” Isaiah 17:14 (NLT)

Could the events predicted in Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 be a
catalyst for the war of Gog and Magog prophesied in Ezekiel
38-39? Although it is not a certainty, the possibility can not be
completely ruled out.

Today’s Headlines

Looking at today’s geopolitical landscape, it’s not difficult to
envision the scenario outlined in Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83. Syria
has been adamant in its demand that Israel surrender the Golan
Heights, threatening war if Israel fails to comply. Meanwhile,
the summer 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah has apparently
convinced leaders in Damascus that Syria can be victorious in a
conflict with Israel by simply overwhelming the tiny nation with
rocket attacks. From a greater perspective, it has convinced the
entire Islamic world that Israel isn’t the militarily invincible
nation they once thought.

Syria’s rocket technology is far more advanced than that deployed
by Hezbollah, and Syria is known to possess chemical weapons,
including the highly lethal VX and Sarin gases. If Syria
miscalculates and attacks Israel with these weapons, the Israeli
response will be swift and devastating. Israel is armed with
nuclear weapons, and if its survival is put in question, it will
not hesitate to use them.

If this happens, a mortally wounded Israel will become an
irresistible target for her enemies. The surrounding Muslim
nations will see an opportunity to destroy her, while Russia will
see an opportunity to seize the upper hand in the oil rich Middle

Today, the most virulent enemies of Israel reside in the very
places named in Psalm 83 – Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinians in the
West Bank and Jordan, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Syria
leadership and its Axis of Evil partners in the city of Damascus.

As of this writing, the conditions are ripe for the fulfillment
of Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83, paving the way for the rapture of the
church and the beginning of the tribulation. In light of such
developments, we should zealously preach the Gospel of Christ to
all who will listen. For the hour is late, and the return of
Christ is near.