Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Covenant

Now the LORD said to Abram,
Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Genesis 12:1-3

A number of big mistakes are made by Christians regarding the Old Testament. First and foremost, there is a tendency to just concentrate only on the New Testament. The idea is that the Old was replaced by the New; and in many ways, this is true. On the other end of the spectrum; some continue to focus on the law and drift into legalistic positions.

Others might say to the verse above; that is the Old Covenant with Israel, this does not apply to me now ... Jesus is the New Covenant. New Covenant? Absolutely; ... but God has made a Covenant with Israel which sets the stage for the end-times. Most of the prophecies are given to us in the Old, and that will be the focus of this study.

The philosophy of history studies principles that have been established in the past, and determines patterns that help us to understand how history might possibly play out in the future. In the Abrahamic Covenant we have a principle that is the only explanation for events of the past and can be depended upon as a clear predictor of the future. If God has made a promise and then continues to repeat that promise, and then continually honors that promise; since God can never lie, some things become predictable.
The key promise of God that has been honored again and again over thousands of years is:

“and I will bless those who bless you; and the one who curses you I will curse”

There are many examples of God fulfilling this promise in the past. A clear recent example of this blessing and curse would be the fall of Hitler and Nazi Germany and the re-establishment of the state of Israel. Julias Streicher spread hatred towards the Jews throughout Europe and was a key player in Hitler’s plan to exterminate Jews. After WW2, he was captured, tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to be hung. His last two words were: "Purim-1946" This was a clear reference to Haman who was similarly hung for his evil plot to kill the innocent Jew, Mordecai. Esther 7:9-10 Streicher tried to destroy Jews but realized that now they would be the ones who would see him hang. Hitler’s Germany built walls around the Jews and murdered six million Jews. But in the end, they were the ones with a wall down the middle of their beloved capital city, and the ones who have been hunted down like dogs and brought to justice, to this day.

No person with a clear understanding of the facts can come to any conclusion other than that the re-establishment of the state of Israel is an intervention by God, and the deliverance of Israel, His chosen people; and that over the past 60 years, the Jews have been supernaturally protected by Him. Never in history has a nation been destroyed and dispersed for over a thousand years. And then for this people to maintain their religion, customs, and heritage; and then be brought back together to their homeland as a sovereign nation ... impossible to understand except for the above promise from God. Can you even remotely imagine this miracle?

Let us look at a few other foolish decisions that were anti-Jewish and the disastrous result. In 1492, all Jews in Spain who refused to convert to Catholicism were ordered expelled by the royal edict of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain. This expulsion was primarily religious discrimination and greed; and it put an end to the largest and most distinguished Jewish settlement in Europe. This decision was a severe hardship which led to loss of everything the Jews owned, evil treatment, starvation by many, and loss of life for many Jews. Some were robbed and sold into slavery. Along with artisans and craftsmen; Spain expelled scholars, doctors, and bankers. This was a horrendous blunder.

God's response to Spain: The source of Spain’s great strength was the invincible Spanish Armada. When Spain decided to try and force its religious beliefs on England, as well; the more advanced battle plan that they came up against with England was more than the Mighty Spanish Armada could handle. England though inferior in strength and numbers, had superior from a distance and their speed allowed for a war out of the range of the Armada's cannons. To make matters worse, as they attempted to escape in bitter defeat, God had plans of disaster for them as well. The storm that came upon them was far far worse than the pounding of the British navy, or anything else they had ever encountered. The worst storm recorded in centuries. Many of the retreating Spanish ships sunk along with their entire crew. Only 67 ships out of 130 returned to Spain – a loss rate of nearly 50%. Over 20,000 Spanish sailors and soldiers were killed. The Spanish economy began to crumble and collapse and as a result within less than a hundred years of the expulsion of the Jews; Spain was greatly reduced in stature. And the once great nation was never to be a major power of the world again. History also shows that two fleeing Jewish banking families bought the three ships for the journey of Columbus. Many of the men on these ships were Jews fleeing their expulsion from Spain and settled in freedom in the new world for the remainder of their lives.

England was blessed by God because of her fair treatment of the Jews and boasted with the phrase “The sun never sets on the British Empire." A Jew, Benjamin Disraeli was responsible for two of Great Britain’s crown jewels: India and the Suez Canal. The Balfour declaration was a key to England’s victory in World War 1. Dr. Chaim Weizmann was a chemist who developed a process that allowed for munitions without telltale smoke. A much needed formula to be defend England and win the war against the Germans. During the first meeting between Weizmann and Balfour in 1906, Balfour asked what Weizmann's objections were to the idea of a Jewish homeland in Uganda rather than in Palestine. According to Weizmann's memoir, the conversation went as follows: Mr. Balfour, supposing I was to offer you Paris instead of London, would you take it?" He sat up, looked at me, and answered: "But Dr. Weizmann, we have London." "That is true," I said, "but we had Jerusalem when London was a marsh." Balfour also said two things which I remember vividly. The first was: "Are there many Jews who think like you?" I answered: "I believe I speak the mind of millions of Jews whom you will never see and who cannot speak for themselves." ... To this he said: "If that is so you will one day be a force."

Due to the resulting ongoing controversy over the agreement; England eventually turned against the Jews and limited Jewish Immigration which prevented the escape of many from the Nazi persecution and halocaust. Within a few years, the British Empire began to fall as Germany drew the world into war; one nation after another declared its freedom from the British Empire during this period, and finally the Suez Canal and India were lost as well. The sun now sets on England daily. Perhaps ... not a coincidence, you think?

The History of the Jews in captivity in Egypt is another incredible example of a nation turning against The Jewish people and suffering the consequences. The Jews were honored by Pharoah during the time of Joseph whose wisdom resulted in the great increase of Egypt during the great famine; and his brothers were settled there not as slaves, but as brothers of the honored and second most powerful Joseph. But Joseph and his brothers died, along with Joseph's Pharaoh; and then there was a new devious king with an evil plan to kill all the men babies and enslave the remaining Jews forever. God's final answer to the evil plan of this Pharaoh: “Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. And of course, in the end, the proud and mighty men of Egypt chased after the defenseless Jews and were drowned by the Lord, in the sea in a way similar to the drowning of the male babies of the Jewish people. The Lord’s curse for curse in kind is clearly consistent with God’s promise to Abraham. Exodus 1-14

Why is this important to us today? Well, because I am convinced we are living in the period leading up to the rapture and the great tribulation. There will be many miraculous things happen during these times but we must keep it all in context. The context of the end-times is the Abrahamic Covenant and God's promises to them. The end-times are all about Israel. Even though the majority of the current nation of Israel is either atheist or agnostic; ... as you will see in this study, a primary purpose of the tribulation is to turn the Jews back to God ... to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The peoples of the world who have rejected Christ, like the Pharaoh and his people will suffer beyond belief.

Many of these events read like science fiction and are difficult to believe; but I could quote one prophecy and fulfillment or miracle upon miracle each and every day, and not run out of examples of God’s miraculous ways.

Perhaps for political reasons, President Obama has decided to desert Israel ... and much in the same way as these other leaders brought disaster to their people; this will bring disastrous consequences to America. God will hold us accountable for deserting Israel. The Jews will have only God to protect them. This does not come as a surprise because it was clearly predicted in God’s Word, thousands of years ago. The current turmoil in the radical Arab states is also predictable. They will all fall into the hands of these crazed Islamic fanatics who along with many of the nations of the world who will eventually rise up against Israel. That is not part of today’s study but it is a present reality.

And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? Ezekiel 38:11-13

America will quite likely have suffered great consequences and lost it current position of power; and perhaps will fall into an alliance which could be described here as: “all the young lions.” The rapture could happen at any time; but a number of things must be set in place before the Great Tribulation can begin. I know many of these things will sound crazy but remember, they laughed at Noah.

Jesus spoke specifically about the days of Noah and the flood, not as an allegory but as a literal fact; “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Matthew 24:37-39.

The main thing is that we must always maintain ISRAEL … as our context of the end-times in mind:

And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. Genesis 12:1-3

Pray for Israel and America and that God will speak to President Obama in a way
that will turn him away from this foolish path that he has chosen for our nation.

God bless you my friends, Bob

Copyright: Robert West 2011

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