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Acts of God: America's Warning Not to Divide Israel
CBN ^ | June 26, 2003 | Jennifer James

Posted on 06/28/2003 8:49:26 AM PDT by yonif

Since its modern establishment, the state of Israel has been a hotbed of controversy. Jews and Palestinians have long battled over who should rightfully inhabit the land of Israel, a land promised to the Jews 4,000 years ago. In the Bible, the book of Genesis details the covenant God made with the descendants of Abraham.

"On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'to your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river of Euphrates.'" - Genesis 15:18.

For more than a decade, America has led attempts to settle that dispute, each time encouraging Israel to bring its covenant lands to the bargaining table, this time with the "Road Map" peace plan. Bible scholars say that may be a costly decision for the U.S. as America again stands at odds with God's covenant promise.

U.S. Consul General Jeffrey Feltman said, "What we need to do now is implement and focus on how we get the two sides back to a political process and towards the vision of a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine living side by side."

On April 30, 2003, America was positioned as the catalyst to jump-start the so-called "solution" to the Middle East crisis. As U.S.-backed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was sworn in, the "Road Map" peace plan was set in motion.

The very next day began the worst month of tornadoes in American history, more than 500 in a single month. Normally, 1,000 tornadoes hit the United States each year, but this year, in just eight days in May, 375 twisters ripped across the heartland of America.

While in Israel, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns told a group of left-wing activists that "common sense" would override the conservative and Christian viewpoints concerning the road map.

May 9th, 2003, President Bush addressed students at the University of South Carolina. Bush called on the Palestinians to embrace the road to peace, and see the flag of Palestine raised over a free nation.

Hours later, tornadoes returned and Oklahoma City again became the bulls-eye for deadly twisters, reducing what was left of businesses and homes to splinters and bricks. The tornadoes of May devastated the Midwest with the third worst property damage in American history. Since then, the Road Map has endured a rocky road to June, coinciding with what may be America's most rain-drenched spring in history.

On the East Coast there have been less than 10 rainless weekends the entire year. And in the West, certain crop-eating pests are having their best year in six decades amid dry conditions.

In the early stages of the Road Map peace process, weather catastrophe and recent violence in Israel have competed for the headlines. That violence coupled with America's own battles at home are leading some to question the Road Map. Is there a connection between dividing the Holy Land and utter disruption? Some Bible scholars think so.

In the book of Joel, God warns against dividing the land of Israel. Joel 3:1-2 says, "...I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of my people and my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up my land."

Bill Koenig, author of Israel: The Blessing or the Curse, said, "We know for a fact that God gave this land, through the Abrahamic covenant, He gave the land of Israel to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and this land is God's land."

Koenig said the U.S. should not consider such chaos a coincidence. "These are warning signals, these are warning judgements to America that this is My covenant land and it's not to be traded for promises of peace and security. This land is not to be parceled," he said.

In the last 12 years, the U.S. has stepped up its efforts to pressure Israel to give up her covenant lands, several times sharing the spotlight with major storms.

On October 30, 1991, in a meeting scheduled by the first President Bush, Israelis and Palestinians discussed ways to achieve peace in the Middle East. Opening talks focused on trading the lands of Israel for a peace agreement.

That same day, thousands of miles away, a powerful storm was brewing off the coast of Nova Scotia. On October 31st, what would be called "The Perfect Storm" smashed into New England, pummeling the President's Kennebunkport, Maine home with waves 30 feet high. It was a storm so rare that the weather patterns required to create it only happen once every 100 years.

August 23rd, 1992, Middle East peace talks resumed in Washington, D.C. The issue remained surrendering the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace. Hundreds of miles south, Florida was the target of the worst natural disaster in American history. Hurricane Andrew tore through with an eye more than 30 miles wide and winds up to 178 miles per hour leaving a $32 billion disaster.

Koenig said, "The world leaders have attempted to parcel the covenant land, so as Israel's property and land is at risk, so is the property of the nation that's promoting the peace process. And I might add that the greater the pressure on Israel to give up this property, the greater the repercussions and the greater the following events that take place afterwards."

In the Bible, the prophet Zechariah warned the nations that would come against 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," says Zechariah 12:3.

Koenig said, "We have the nations of the world right now siding with the Arabs and the Muslims that are focused on the covenant land, but we know God is standing with the nation of Israel."

Is America playing a dangerous game? As the Road Map peace process encounters resistance, the Bush administration's determination to see it through has escalated.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "We have a plan, we have the commitment of leaders and now we have to execute that plan, keep moving forward and not allow ourselves to be distracted or thrown off point, from the promise that's out there with the Road Map, by this surge of violence. We've got to punch our way through it."

But, up against biblical prophecies, Koenig said America is standing against the very Word of God and should expect major obstacles.

"I believe the Lord will allow these events to happen that disrupt the peace process," he said. "As long as you are going to have a terrorist infrastructure that's allowed to co-exist in the nation Israel, we're going to have a problem."

And with those same terrorist groups opposed to America's brand of peace, the future of the Road Map is dim. Israelis maintain they will be relentless to protect their country while all plans to split up the tiny nation may be curbed.

Koenig said, "God loves the nation of Israel. He still, to this day, loves this nation. He is in hot pursuit of the people of Israel. Through these events, we look at the tragedies and we look at the trials, but God's trying to wake up the world."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cbn; divide; god; idf; israel; land; terrorists
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1 posted on 06/28/2003 8:49:27 AM PDT by yonif
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To: SJackson; Yehuda; Nachum; adam_az; LarryM; American in Israel; ReligionofMassDestruction; ...
Interesting take on the issue.
2 posted on 06/28/2003 8:49:51 AM PDT by yonif
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To: yonif
This is exactly why so many are so puzzled as to why a president who professes born-again Christianity is so hellbent on defying God. The Bible is very, very clear on who the land belongs to. I didn't expect Clinton to put any stock in that, but I had quite different expectations for Bush. I wonder if he's just biblically ignorant or what.

MM

3 posted on 06/28/2003 9:12:16 AM PDT by MississippiMan
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To: yonif
God's promises to Israel were meant for the Israel of faith, not to the physical Israel. In the Old Testament period the people of Israel were set aside and kept together as God's special people by the Mosaic Law so that the promises could be kept alive until Christ would come. For this reason, Jesus said, "Salvation is from the Jews" (John 4:22). All the promises given to Israel were promises attached to Christ and inseparable from him.

Individual Jews cannot obtain the spiritual benefits of the promises apart from faith in Christ. The nation cannot benefit from the promises if it rejects Christ, to whom the promises were attached. The present nation of Israel does not have a claim on these promises because it does not hold to Christ. Paul discusses this at length in Romans and Galatians.

The promises to Israel do not belong to anyone who is born into the physical nation of Israel, but who has no faith. Not all of the visible Israel is the Israel of faith, the Israel of God (See Romans 9:6-8). Believers in Christ, Jew and Gentile, receive the promises through Christ.

Christians shall inherit the earth and not only Palestine. But it will be in God's chosen way and in his chosen timetable, not through political or military action.

4 posted on 06/28/2003 9:14:22 AM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: MississippiMan
This is exactly why so many are so puzzled as to why a president who professes born-again Christianity is so hellbent on defying God. The Bible is very, very clear on who the land belongs to.

See my earlier post; the Bible is clear, and it does NOT belong to modern Israel, unless they find salvation through Christ.

To suggest otherwise is to say that Jews and Christians worship the same God; from there you also have to say that Muslims do as well.

They don't; Chhristians worship the Triune God, one part of which is Jesus Christ. The Jews do not recognize Christ as the promised Messiah. Muslims recognize him as a prophet, but not the Messiah.

5 posted on 06/28/2003 9:17:42 AM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: MississippiMan
If Bush were REALLY a born again Christian, why does he elevate homosexuals in positions of power and authority? Of all the folks out there, VERY qualified for those positions WHY appoint perverts, er homosexuals in heavy duty denial of who they were designed to be attracted to? Also if Bush is a born again Christian, WHY did he open pandoras box and okay EMBRYONIC stem cell research AFTER he sent out NUMNEROUS letters to concervative organizations saying he would NOT okay this?

Looks to me that the Bible doesn't matter to Bush. When teaching Sunday School he must have missed what God said about homosexuals, babies and lying.

7 posted on 06/28/2003 9:19:25 AM PDT by nmh
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To: Cacophonous
Your wrong. God meant just what he said concernig Israel and land. When it comes to ETERNAL LIFE it was opened up to ALL. IN fact Jews who refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and recognize what He did on the cross (the ultimate sacrafice), Jewish or not, they will NOT have eternal life. So from a spiritual perspective, lack of belief in Jesus, denies a person eternal life, Jewish or otherwise. Being Jewish by blood means nothing. Belief in Jesus Christ alone is what gives one eternal life.
8 posted on 06/28/2003 9:22:52 AM PDT by nmh
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To: MississippiMan
""On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'to your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river of Euphrates.'" - Genesis 15:18. "

That includes the Arabs. So what is the best solution today - One Democratic State with one vote for all, Two separate but equal states, or continuous war with all descendants of Abram claiming their birthright?

9 posted on 06/28/2003 9:28:11 AM PDT by ex-snook (So just who recovers in a 'jobless' recovery?)
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To: nmh
That's what he was saying
10 posted on 06/28/2003 9:55:20 AM PDT by Norse
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To: nmh
That's precisely what I said. Since what you say - and I agree - is so, than trying to read any Biblical significance into the current goings on in the Middle East is folly.
11 posted on 06/28/2003 9:56:00 AM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: MississippiMan
The Bible is very, very clear on who the land belongs to.

Excuse me but didnt Abraham have two sons. The Jews descended from one and the arabs from the other. Doesnt that make the arabs co-heirs?

12 posted on 06/28/2003 10:04:02 AM PDT by Dave S
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To: nmh
If Bush were REALLY a born again Christian, why does he elevate homosexuals in positions of power and authority?

I dare you to name two or three homosexuals that Bush placed in positions of power and authority? Dont choke too hard.

13 posted on 06/28/2003 10:08:33 AM PDT by Dave S
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To: Dave S
I recently watched a documentary on WorldLink T.V.
It was about the Israeli's and Palestinian's in the settlements...It was very good...giving the viewpoint of each side...It was the most exposure I have ever had with the Palestinian side of things...
Both the Jews and Palestinians agreed that they shared the same father Abraham...and prayed for a solution to peace.
Unfortunately we usually only get the stories of the extremist of each side. The ordinary people are so weary of war.
14 posted on 06/28/2003 10:50:36 AM PDT by OREALLY
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To: Cacophonous
See my earlier post; the Bible is clear, and it does NOT belong to modern Israel, unless they find salvation through Christ.

Please provide evidence for you claim. God promised Israel a physical location in the Torah, stating a location that is even larger then if Israel has Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Genesis 15:18, "Unto thy seed have I given this land from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."

Exodus 23:31, "and from the desert unto the river" (Euphrates); and again "from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be."

Joshua 1:4, "From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast."

15 posted on 06/28/2003 10:59:20 AM PDT by yonif
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To: ex-snook

""On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'to your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river of Euphrates.'" - Genesis 15:18. "

That includes the Arabs. So what is the best solution today - One Democratic State with one vote for all, Two separate but equal states, or continuous war with all descendants of Abram claiming their birthright?


Genesis 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:


Genesis 17:19-20

19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.


Genesis 21:12-13 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

16 posted on 06/28/2003 11:05:45 AM PDT by Thinkin' Gal (Guten Tag!)
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To: Cacophonous
I agree...It is also foretold that those in Israel who have not accepted Christ will embrace the Anti-Christ, being deceived by him they will sign the 7 year false peace treaty. The anti-christ will be admired through out the world and not hated as President Bush has become...

17 posted on 06/28/2003 11:07:37 AM PDT by OREALLY
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To: OREALLY
Yep!
20 posted on 06/28/2003 11:24:34 AM PDT by Ferret Fawcet (Trust God's authority, not man's majority.)
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To: yonif
Genesis 15:18, "Unto thy seed have I given this land from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates."

Exodus 23:31, "and from the desert unto the river" (Euphrates); and again "from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be."

Joshua 1:4, "From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast."

Read the New Testament to see the fulfillment of this. I do not know if you have ever read the New Testament, but now would be a good time to start.

21 posted on 06/28/2003 11:31:47 AM PDT by Mark17
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To: The Ghost of Richard Nixon
Christians such as Pat Robertson, Tom Delay and many others wholeheartedly disagree.

I disagree as a Jew as well.

22 posted on 06/28/2003 11:36:24 AM PDT by yonif
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To: yonif
The traditional Christian view is not that Christianity superseded God's covenant with Israel, but that it fulfilled it, because because the belief of Christians is that Jesus, a Jew, is the promised Messiah in the line of David.

Some early Christians assumed that Judaism was finished after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. Their story seemed to be over. But St. Augustine, the Popes, and other authoritative teachers (including Jacques Maritain more recently) have always argued for friendly relations with the Jews. Despite the failings of many individual Christians and Christian leaders (and no doubt many Jews on the other side) antisemitism has never been an orthodox Christian principle.

St. Paul concurs with many statements in the Jewish Bible that God's Covenant with Israel is eternal, and therefore that it will never end.

IMHO some Protestants make too much of a distinction between body and the spirit. God promised to remember His covenant with Israel forever and to give them the land of Israel if they kept it. God extended His covenant to baptized Christians, but he did not remove it from the Jews. So I would say that God will be faithful both to the spiritual Israel and to Israel literally. The Jews speak of both literal and spiritual circumcision, and their prophets say that both are necessary (as does the Book of Deuteronomy).

I'm not one of those who thinks he can pin down the end times to a specific date. I'm not sure what we're seeing now. It's even conceivable that God might send Israel back into exile once more, although the end of an exile of nearly 2000 years does seem too extraordinary for that to be likely. But that's for God to decide, not American or European politicians.

I would guess that Bush is favorable to Israel but that he is too willing to listen to his advisers' bad advice on these matters. I hope he learns better ASAP, because these past months have been politically damaging to all concerned including Bush himself--leaving aside the meaning of those volley-ball sized hail stones that fell in the midwest a few days ago.
23 posted on 06/28/2003 12:12:25 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: The Ghost of Richard Nixon
Christians such as Pat Robertson, Tom Delay and many others wholeheartedly disagree.

They're conflicted between their religion and their politics. If I thought Robertson, Delay and others were willing to listen, I would let them talk to my pastor; he has no political aspirations.

24 posted on 06/28/2003 12:49:43 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: nmh
God wraps all in His lov.
25 posted on 06/28/2003 12:55:13 PM PDT by Republic
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To: yonif; All

Exodus 23:31 "and from the desert unto the "(Eurhrates): and again from the river Euphrates,
("even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be." )

Even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be ...?

Joshua 1:4
"From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river Euphrates, and all the land of the Hittites, (and unto the great sea toward the the going down of the sun,shall be your coast.)

And unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast...?

To me this boundry has no bounds..."to the uttermost sea shall your coast be........." ?

As far as Joel this is about Amagedon and the day of judgement...a very specific time period...

As usual I have more questions than answer's

Genesis 15:18 "Unto thy seed "
Abraham is the father of many nations... It is my belief that this common bond with all mankind is what will bring about The One World Religion, which will be an abomination to God....
You know I support and love Israel, but I can't pick and choose which parts of the bible I want to believe...
Do you read the new testament ?
26 posted on 06/28/2003 1:17:56 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: yonif; All
Has any one read the stuff CBN wrote back in 1999 about their predictions of the year 2000 and Y2k ? It is pretty funny reading ...NOW...
27 posted on 06/28/2003 1:24:38 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: yonif
This is the worst kind of abject idiocy I see posted on FR.

The US is saying or doing something in regards to Israel every day.

The US also has fairly regular natural disasters (though, actually, in the last 10, 20, or even 50 years, we've had FAR less of some of the worst...landfalling powerful hurricanes or powerful earthquakes) than normal.

Thus, any moron can look at every disaster the US has and connect it to us doing something in regard to Israel; or ANYTHING else.

A Democratic Underground loon could easily connect major US disasters with the US Government cutting taxes or a give government program. A Muslim loon could easily connect major US disasters with the US mistreating a Muslim country or an individual Muslim.

Natural Disasters have happened and will happen. They're controlled by natural processes, by God. It's obvious that they're not selectively punishing the wicked or stupid.
28 posted on 06/28/2003 1:28:07 PM PDT by John H K
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To: John H K
This reminds me of Jerry Falwell blaming 9/11 on the homosexuals...I am a christian and that made me furious...
and I sure do not support homosexuals...
29 posted on 06/28/2003 1:34:58 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: MississippiMan
"I had quite different expectations for Bush. I wonder if he's just biblically ignorant or what."

Ever consider it could be the other way around? LOL

30 posted on 06/28/2003 1:36:57 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Marxist DemocRATS, Nader-Greens, and Religious KOOKS = a clear and present danger to our Freedoms.)
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To: Zakie
I am sorry I didn't know this was a jewish thread...
I thought the article was about America.....?
I am new here......How can I tell what thread I am allowed to be a part of ?
35 posted on 06/28/2003 1:51:27 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: yonif; Cacophonous; The Ghost of Richard Nixon; MississippiMan
"Please provide evidence .." ~ yonif


Who is Israel?

The New Testament church is one ("unity") with Israel of the Old Testament.

Gentiles have always been adopted into the family of Abraham by faith in Abraham's Son.

Gentile believers are made a part of (grafted into) Israel, and thus they inherit the promises given to Abraham alongside Jewish believers from both Testaments.

There is neither separation nor replacement. Instead, the two have become one.

"For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile -- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call upon Him." [Romans 10:11]

"The Church" is the Bride of Christ. He will marry this Bride at his return. Christ does not have two Brides.

"The Church" is the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head. Christ does not have two bodies.

Jesus was saying something very very profound in John 15: 1-8 and Acts 4:13 --- especially for the Hebrew mind.

When Jesus said "I am the vine", those who listened thought of the old Testament and these words, [Psalm 80:8-11]:

Psa 80:8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

Psa 80:9 Thou preparedst [room] before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

Psa 80:10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof [were like] the goodly cedars.

Psa 80:11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

[Isa 5:1-2, 7]:

Isa 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

Isa 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

Isa 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

[Jer. 2:2, 21]:

Jer 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land [that was] not sown.

Jer 2:21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?

[Ezek. 19:10-14]:

Eze 19:10 Thy mother [is] like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

Eze 19:11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches.

Eze 19:12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.

Eze 19:13 And now she [is] planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.

Eze 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, [which] hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod [to be] a sceptre to rule. This [is] a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

[Hosea 10: 1a]:

Hsa 10:1 Israel [is] an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself ..

When Jesus said, "I am the true vine, his Jewish hearers thought of those verses. During the Maccabean period, the coinage of God's people had a vine on it as a symbol of Isreal.

When Jesus said, "I am the vine", he was saying, "I am the essence of Isreal."

He was saying, "I am the prototype of which Isreal is the type."

He was saying, "I am the personification of everything God's people were ever meant to be."

He was saying, "I am the reality of all that God has ever proposed to do in the entire history of the human race."
36 posted on 06/28/2003 1:53:11 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Marxist DemocRATS, Nader-Greens, and Religious KOOKS = a clear and present danger to our Freedoms.)
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To: Zakie
Wait a minute this article is written by a Christian...
CBN....CBN IS CHRISTIAN ??? CHRISTIAN BROADCAST NETWORK ?
37 posted on 06/28/2003 1:59:04 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: OREALLY; MississippiMan; The Ghost of Richard Nixon; Ferret Fawcet
"It is also foretold that those in Israel who have not accepted Christ will embrace the Anti-Christ, being deceived by him they will sign the 7 year false peace treaty. The anti-christ will be admired through out the world.." ~ OREALLY


The antichrist

Most Christians today are taught that the antichrist is alive right now, and that he is about to break forth onto the world scene as a brilliant yet wicked world leader.

Although the antichrist is perhaps the most popular figure in the current prophecy scene, he is also the most misunderstood.

The problem is that premillennial authors focus their attention on Daniel’s little horn, Paul’s man of sin, and the beast in Revelation, yet ignore the passages of Scripture which actually discuss antichrist.

There are only four passages of Scripture which expressly mention “antichrist,” all in the epistles of John (1 Jn. 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Jn. 7).

John corrects the false notion of antichrist that had arisen among Christians in his own day; he declares that antichrist is not something far off in the future but a present reality.

Second, he says that antichrist is not a single individual but a large group of people.

Third, he defines antichrist not as a person (a coming world leader) but as a current movement: “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 Jn. 2:18).

Many Christians in John’s day had heard that antichrist (singular) was coming. John responded by saying that even now many antichrists (plural) had arisen. The verb “have arisen” or “have come” (gegonasin) indicates that these antichrists arose in the past and were still present.

The presence of these antichrists proves that “it is (present tense) the last hour” (2:18).

Thus it is evident that John (who wrote the book of Revelation) rejected the idea of a future, singular antichrist; instead, he warned Christians of a heretical movement (or movements).

There are many antichrists. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 Jn. 7). “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” (1 Jn. 2:22). “‘These antichrists who have arisen,’ says John, ‘belonged to us, but they were not of us.’

In other words, they took up the Christian position, they claimed they were Christian, they professed to be teachers of the Christian Church, and yet they have been separated from the Christians in order that it would be clear to all that they were not of them.

In other words, they claimed to delight in the true religion and yet they destroyed it.” [Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Walking with God: Studies in I John (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1993), p. 100.]

John focused the attention of his readers upon one, or perhaps two, heretical movements.

The first, probably Gnostic in origin, denied the real humanity of Jesus Christ (2 Jn. 7).

The second, probably Jewish in origin, denied that Jesus was the Messiah (1 Jn. 2:22). “John clearly applies the conception of the one antichrist (ho antichristos) to the generic tendency to promote lies about the identity of Christ.” [Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), p. 373]

“Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 Jn. 4:3).

“Antichrist is not an individual, malevolent ruler looming in our future. Rather, Antichrist was a contemporary heretical tendency regarding the person of Christ that was current among many in John’s day.” [Gentry, p. 374] ~~~ Brian Schwertley

2. The beast

Another greatly misunderstood figure from the Bible is the beast of Revelation. The beast, unlike the antichrist, is at least a real political leader. The problem with most modern interpretations seeking to identity the beast is that the many textual indicators given by John to identify the beast are ignored in favor of the futurist, revived Roman emperor idea.

In the book of Revelation the beast is identified as both an empire and as a leader of an empire.

The empire is without question the Roman empire of John’s own day.

In Revelation 13 John is standing on the sand of the sea and observing a beast rising up out of the sea. The beast has “seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Rev. 13:1-2).

John describes the very same animals alluded to by the prophet Daniel to describe three of the four great world empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece (Dan. 7:1-6). The fourth empire, which has all the beast-like features of the other empires (only much worse), is none other than the Roman empire (Dan. 7:7).

In Revelation 17:12 John declares that the ten horns are ten kings; they are the leaders or governors of the ten imperial provinces.

In Revelation 17:9-10, John identifies the seven heads as both seven hills (a place) and seven kings (individuals). In the ancient world Rome was known as the city of seven mountains.

John, standing on the edge of the Mediterranean sea, looks in the direction of Rome and sees a beast coming out of the sea. Rome was a world empire that had authority over all peoples and nations (Rev. 13:7); that was the culmination of the four empires in Daniel, an empire that was satanic to the core (v. 2); and that existed on seven mountains (v. 9).

Following are some other features about the beast.

1. The beast was not only an empire but was also a man (Rev. 13:18).

John says that the beast had a blasphemous name on its heads (v. 1).

The Roman Caesars were worshiped as gods. Roman emperors were referred to as: Sebastos (one to be worshiped), divus (god) and even Deus and Theos (God). [David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance, An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Fort Worth, TX: Dominion, 1987) p. 328]

Nero’s coins said “Savior of the world,” and Domitian was referred to as “our Lord and our God.”

John gives a number of specific indicators that identify the beast, all of which point not to someone over 2,000 years in the future, but to an emperor still living in John’s own day: Nero.

Revelation 17:10 says, “There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”

John specifically says that the sixth king is presently ruling. Who is the sixth king? None other than Nero, the first great persecutor of Christians.

Following is a list of the Roman Caesars: 1. Julius (49-44 B.C.), 2. Augustus (31 B.C.-A.D. 14), 3. Tiberius (A.D. 14-37), 4. Gaius (Caligula, A.D. 37-41), 5. Claudius (A.D. 41-54), 6. Nero (A.D. 54-68), 7. Galba (A.D. 68).

John said that the sixth king was ruling when he wrote; this king would be followed by a seventh who would rule for only “a short time” (Rev. 17:10).

This was fulfilled to the letter: Nero was followed by Galba who ruled for only three months before he was assassinated.

2. John gives another identifier of the beast: a number.

“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Rev. 13:18).

Why does not John just say who the beast is? Why does he speak cryptically? John was writing from Patmos where he was exiled by the Romans. The church was being persecuted systematically by the Roman state under Nero.

John identifies the Roman emperor but he does it in such a way so that he protects the church from reprisal if the letter is intercepted by the Roman authorities.

Almost every church in the Roman empire contained both Jews and Gentiles. The Jews living in John’s day used their alphabet for both sound symbols (phonetics) and numerical values. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet had a numerical value.

A Hebrew spelling of Nero’s name found in documents contemporary with the writing of Revelation is Nrwn Qsr, which equals exactly 666. [The number 666 in some ancient manuscripts of Scripture is actually changed to 616. The difference surely is no accident of sight made by an early copyist. The numbers 666 and 616 are not similar in appearance in the original Greek—whether spelled out in words or written out as numerals. Textual scholars agree: it must be intentional. Although we cannot be absolutely certain, a strong and most reasonable case may be made for the following conjecture. John, a Jew, used a Hebrew spelling of Nero’s name in order to arrive at the figure 666. But when Revelation began circulating among those less acquainted with Hebrew, a well-meaning copyist who knew the meaning of 666 might have intended to make its deciphering easier by altering it to 616. It surely is no mere coincidence that 616 is the numerical value of ‘Nero Caesar,’ when spelled in Hebrew by transliterating it from its more common Latin spelling” (Gentry, pp. 376-77)] ~~~ Brian Schwertley


3. Another indicator is the beastly image itself.

Nero truly possessed a wicked, bestial nature. He was even referred to as a “beast” by his contemporaries. [The pagan writer Apollinius of Tyana, a contemporary of Nero, specifically mentions that Nero was called a “beast” (ibid., p. 377). Nero may have acquired the nickname “the beast” from some of his perverse activities. Nero was a sadistic pervert who was hated and feared, even by the pagan Romans.]

“Nero, who murdered numerous members of his own family (including his pregnant wife, whom he kicked to death); who was homosexual, the final stage in degeneracy (Rom. 1:24-32); whose favorite aphrodisiac consisted of watching people suffer the most horrifying and disgusting tortures; who dressed up as a wild beast in order to attack and rape male and female prisoners; who used the bodies of Christians burning at the stake as the original ‘Roman candles’ to light up his filthy garden parties; who launched the first imperial persecution of Christians at the instigation of the Jews, in order to destroy the Church; this animalistic pervert was the ruler of the most powerful empire on earth.” [Chilton, p. 329]

4. John said that the beast would make war upon God’s saints.

“The Beast is said to ‘make war with the saints and to overcome them’ (Rev. 13:7).

In fact, he is said to conduct such blasphemous warfare for a specific period of time: 42 months (Rev. 13:5).

The Neronic persecution, which was initiated by Nero in A.D. 64, was the first ever Roman assault on Christianity, as noted by Church fathers Eusebius, Tertullian, Paulus Orosius, and Sulpicius Severus, as well as by Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius.” [Gentry, pp. 377-78]

Nero’s assassination by the sword on June 8, A.D. 68, ended the bloody persecution of believers. Note that Nero’s persecution of Christians lasted 42 months, exactly as prophesied by the Apostle John in Revelation 13:5. ~~~ Brian Schwertley



3. The mark of the beast

Is everyone soon to receive a bar code on his forehead and/or right hand in order to buy and sell goods? Is the government going to force people to have a computer chip inserted in their right hand for identification purposes? While these things are possible, they have absolutely nothing to do with the mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation.

In the Old Testament God spoke of total allegiance to Him and His law as a putting of the law on the forehead and on the hands: “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Dt. 6:8).

In Revelation, those who are faithful to Christ, “the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Rev. 14:4), are said to have “His [the Lamb’s] Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1).

John also refers to it as a seal: “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads” (Rev. 7:3).

The Lord tells the church at Sardis: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem...” (Rev. 3:12).

Even after the second coming John says, “His name shall be on their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4).

In the old covenant “Aaron bore on his forehead the name of the Lord inscribed on the crown on the front of the priestly mitre.” [Meredith G. Kline, Images of the Spirit, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), p. 54.]

It is obvious that having the name of Christ (or God the Father, Rev. 14:1) on the forehead is not meant to be taken literally but is representative of allegiance to God, ownership by God, and even the presence of God the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, the mark of the beast should be viewed as “the Satanic parody of the ‘seal of God’ on the foreheads and hands of the righteous.... Israel has rejected Christ, and is ‘marked’ with the seal of Rome’s total lordship; she has given her allegiance to Caesar, and is obedient to his rule and law. Israel chose to be saved by the pagan state, and persecuted those who sought salvation in Christ.” [Chilton, p. 342]

The mark of the beast is a counterfeit of God’s seal on His people. Those who give their allegiance to Caesar and the Roman state have social respectability and the benefits that go with it (economic, political, religious, etc.).

The Roman state demanded total allegiance to Caesar; everyone was required to make an offering of incense unto Caesar as God. “All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the beast], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life...” (Rev. 13:8).

But Christians refused to worship the beast and thus were persecuted unto death and became economic and social outcasts. The mark of the beast reflects a wicked heart that worships and serves Caesar.

“The imagery no doubt comes from the practice of branding slaves with the mark of their master.” [Philip Edgecumbe Hughes, The Book of the Revelation, pp. 153-54.]

Christians are slaves of Christ; all others are slaves of Satan.

Revelation 13 focuses on the Roman empire and the beast—Nero Caesar.

Things look very bleak for the church in chapter 13, but in chapter 14 the prophet focuses his attention upon Christ and His people.

Those who persecute the church, who worship the beast, will receive their due:

“If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever” (Rev. 14:9-11).

But Christians are blessed: “‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (v. 13).

Although these words should comfort Christians of all ages, they were written specifically to comfort believers suffering the persecution of Nero—the Beast.

This truth is confirmed when the many time indicators within Revelation are considered.

John wrote, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants things which must shortly take place.... Blessed is he who reads...for the time is near.... The Lord God...sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1-3; 22:6).

Five times Jesus Christ declared, “I am coming quickly” (2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20); He was referring to His coming to judge apostate Israel and their Roman accomplices in the persecution of the church (this judgment occurred in A.D. 67-70).

But He promised to spare a faithful first-century church from the coming conflagration: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world” (3:10).

The purpose of the references to the millennium, the second coming, the final judgment and the eternal state is to give persecuted first-century Christians a glimpse of the church’s glorious future.

The significance of the book of Revelation *to its first-century audience* must no longer be ignored. ~~~ Brian Schwertley



38 posted on 06/28/2003 1:59:15 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Marxist DemocRATS, Nader-Greens, and Religious KOOKS = a clear and present danger to our Freedoms.)
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To: MississippiMan
"The Bible is very, very clear on who the land belongs to."

The bible is also very, very clear that Israel is to be a theocracy. Today's Israel is anything but that.

39 posted on 06/28/2003 2:01:42 PM PDT by MEGoody
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To: John H K
Big time BTTT for your post! Thanks.
40 posted on 06/28/2003 2:02:32 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Marxist DemocRATS, Nader-Greens, and Religious KOOKS = a clear and present danger to our Freedoms.)
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To: Zakie
And I happen to think you will be damned for eternity. Not because you're not Jewish but because of your infernal bigotry.

Easy there.... Just because you don't believe what is written in the Bible doesn't give you the right to attack those who do. Why don't you just move on to another thread if you cannot participate in a civil discussion?
41 posted on 06/28/2003 2:10:19 PM PDT by demkicker ((I wanna kick some commie butt))
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To: nmh
"If Bush were REALLY a born again Christian, why does he elevate homosexuals in positions of power and authority?"

Because he is president of a diverse nation. I agree homosexuality is immoral. It doesn't appear that he's appointed any to positions from which they can significantly impact the political/moral landscape.

Also if Bush is a born again Christian, WHY did he open pandoras box and okay EMBRYONIC stem cell research AFTER he sent out NUMNEROUS letters to concervative organizations saying he would NOT okay this?

You do realize that Bush only authorized continuing research on the existing stem cell cultures but did not allow the killing of any more embryoes to obtain stem cells, right?

42 posted on 06/28/2003 2:10:20 PM PDT by MEGoody
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To: yonif
I don't presume to know what is an act of God.
43 posted on 06/28/2003 2:10:54 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: Matchett-PI
I think we agree...I was trying to squeeze a bunch of stuff in one tiny paragraph...There is no doubt about Rome...
the anti-christ Rev.13:18 ...I know the spirit of anti-christ is alive and well today.
I can't write good like you...Where do you think I am wrong ?
44 posted on 06/28/2003 2:20:30 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: Zakie
"This is exactly the sort of warped ideology that led to 2,000 years of Christian persecution which ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz."

Excuse me, did you even READ what was in post 4? You even copied/pasted this from the post "But it will be in God's chosen way and in his chosen timetable, not through political or military action."

Get that? No political or military action. Do you understand? With no political or military action, there wouldn't have been an Auschwitz.

There has been no '2,000 years of Christian persecution'. It's just a fantasy you've made up to suit your own agenda.

45 posted on 06/28/2003 2:20:49 PM PDT by MEGoody
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To: Zakie
>Like a moth to a flame, Norse descends on the Jewish >thread to give everyone the benefit of his anti-Jewish two >cents.

That's a shockingly stupid comment.
46 posted on 06/28/2003 2:25:02 PM PDT by Norse
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To: Zakie; nmh
>And I happen to think you will be damned for eternity. Not >because you're not Jewish but because of your infernal >bigotry.

Wow, Zakie, you really do have problems.
47 posted on 06/28/2003 2:30:52 PM PDT by Norse
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To: Zakie
>This is exactly the sort of warped ideology that led to >2,000 years of Christian persecution which ended in the >gas chambers of Auschwitz. The Jews of Europe were wiped >out because people of you. I certainly would give a wide >berth to your brand of "religion."

Wrong again, Zakie. Hitler, the SS, and the Nazi party were anti-Christian. In fact, they openly worshiped pagan Gods...Norse Gods to be exact. The Jews in Europe were wiped out by the forces of evil. Now, people hate Jews because of people like you. How does it feel?
48 posted on 06/28/2003 2:33:22 PM PDT by Norse
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To: Zakie
You think anything we do here on earth has anything to do with God's will?
49 posted on 06/28/2003 2:39:09 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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To: Cacophonous; Zakie
I poorly phrased my question; I should have asked if you actually think anything we do here on easrth can change or influence God's will.
50 posted on 06/28/2003 2:46:23 PM PDT by Cacophonous
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