By Gary H. Kah
It’s no secret. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, despises Israel. But what is even more apparent is his hatred for Israel’s leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We now know that Obama did everything possible behind the scenes to sabotage Netanyahu’s recent re-election. Fortunately, Obama’s attempts to undermine Netanyahu’s campaign backfired. When Israeli citizens saw Obama’s open disdain for their Prime Minister, it turned the election — which had been a tight race — into a landslide victory for Netanyahu.
In my opinion, Israel’s decision to re-elect Bibi Netanyahu may have been as much a vote against Obama as a vote in favor of Netanyahu. Even when Barack Obama first ran for the office of US President in 2008, polls showed that a vast majority of Israelis opposed him. Unlike a majority of American Jews at the time, Israeli Jews did not trust Obama. His very pro-UN positions on Israeli/Palestinian issues deeply concerned them. Yet, despite his well-known positions Americans voted him into power; then elected him a second time, fully aware of what he stood for.
The Obama Administration’s handling of the war between Israel and Hamas last summer should have served as a final wake-up call. Regardless of his public smooth-talk, his actions indicated that he was really backing Hamas. Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post and a former foreign policy advisor to PM Netanyahu, documented how Obama used his pressure tactics against Netanyahu, trying to influence the outcome of the war in favor of Hamas. Her article, “Israel, Hamas and Obama’s Foreign Policy” appeared in The Jerusalem Post and was re-printed in our Fall 2014 issue of Hope for the World Update.
That war, and what Israelis learned about the US President’s private support of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, helped cement Israel’s distrust for Obama — as well it should have. Add to that the recent attempts by Obama to manipulate Israel’s elections and we should understand why Jews voted in favor of a strong leader whose top priority is Israel’s defense and security. Congratulations Bibi!
Netanyahu addresses US Congress on Obama’s Iran Deal
It is disturbing enough to have a president with strong Islamist tendencies who despises Israel and hates her leader. But, what concerns me just as much is the rapid rise in anti-Israel/anti-Jew rhetoric and actions coming from supposedly “Christian” organizations.
For example, last year the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved a resolution condemning American companies doing business in Israel. Some members went so far as calling for a boycott of such US firms. While there were a significant number of Presbyterian leaders who opposed these measures, it is apparent that the momentum has shifted in the opposite direction, with a growing number of Presbyterians siding against the Jewish state.
In fact, in recent years President Obama has received numerous letters from Christian groups — some with petitions and lists of signatures attached — condemning Israel and urging the President to support the Palestinian side. These have come almost exclusively from organizations that are members of, or are allied with, the World Council of Churches (which has received funds from the very “one-world”/pro-UN Rockefeller Foundation).
Such aggressive anti-Jewish steps remind me of the days leading to Hitler’s ascent in the 1930s and 40s. My mother is a survivor of WWII. Growing up in Germany she endured many hardships during the war. On one occasion the Gestapo showed up at the mayor’s office in search of my grandfather who had become very outspoken against Hitler. Fortunately, the mayor of this small village was a family friend and sent Hitler’s henchmen in a different direction. Mom dreaded even going to school, because of the forceful Nazi schoolmaster who routinely punished students for minor infractions. He was the only outspoken Nazi in this Swabian village of 300, but he effectively exercised his authority as Hitler’s eyes and ears in the community. It wasn’t easy for Mom growing up as a young teenager under these circumstances. She feared especially for my grandpa’s life. She and Grandma spent much time on their knees praying for Grandpa’s safety (as well as their own).
About two years ago, before Mom suffered her debilitating strokes, she told me, “I had to go through this once in my lifetime; I didn’t think I’d have to face it again.” She was referring to Barack Obama’s presidency and the measures he was putting in place. It vividly reminded her of Hitler’s rise to power and ultimate dictatorship. I thought to myself, “How is it that a frail 85 year old woman can see what is happening, but most Americans of our younger generation cannot?” Could it be because we’ve turned our backs against the God of the Bible, and as a result, have lost our ability to discern the truth?
There are certain similarities between the Christianity of Germany in the 1930s and that of the United States and much of the western world today. Most of Germany’s Christians had grown weary of taking a stand for righteousness. Worn down by the effects of WWI and the Great Depression, they were in a struggle for economic survival and, led on by clever Nazi propaganda, they were all too willing to place the blame for their problems on the Jews. This shift in the thinking of German Christians was facilitated by a growing acceptance and propagation of Replacement Theology in Germany’s seminaries and theological institutions. Perhaps more than any other factor, Replacement Theology helped pave the way for Hitler. Except for a small remnant, most Christians bought into this false teaching and neglected to take a stand on behalf of their Jewish brethren, never thinking they too would eventually be persecuted by the same Nazi regime.
Today, in America, we are witnessing a dictatorship in the making. Obama is issuing monumental, nation-altering Executive Orders in blatant defiance of the US Congress and Constitution. He is simultaneously showing an increasing contempt for Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. Meanwhile, most theological liberals who are busy espousing Replacement Theology are doing nothing to expose or stand against the Obama Regime. Even though they should easily be seeing “The Handwriting on the Wall”, they are refusing to acknowledge God’s warnings and are helping to set America up for a fall. History has taught that when a nation tolerates hatred for Jews, the persecution of Christians soon follows.
The sad irony is that many Replacement theologians who do not accept the legitimacy of the Jewish people and the right for Israel to exist as a nation, do accept and even promote the homosexual lifestyle, same-sex marriage and the “right” of a woman to abort her baby. While there are exceptions to this rule, overall, those who are blinded by one deception are more likely to fall for the others as well, opening the floodgate to gross immorality. Many of these advocates are willfully surrendering their constitutional freedoms to an emerging dictator, while supporting national immorality along the way.
So, “What is Replacement Theology?” you may ask. In a nutshell, this teaching espouses that God is forever finished dealing with the Jews as a people. His covenants, according to this doctrine, were conditional upon Israel’s obedience, but Israel rebelled by disobeying and thereby will permanently experience God’s rejection. The Church has “replaced” Israel — the descendants of the northern as well as southern kingdom (known as Jews) — as God’s chosen vessel, and He will never work through the Jews as a people again.
While there are elements of truth promoted in the “replacement” view, Paul thoroughly addresses God’s current and future position on Christians and Jews in Romans chapter eleven. Let’s consider a few of these very important doctrinal passages, allowing God’s Word to speak for itself.
Romans 11:1-2a “I ask then, Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.”
Romans 11:11-12 “Again I ask, Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!”
Romans 11:15 “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
Romans 11:23-24 “And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?”
Romans 11:25-29 “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”
Apostle Paul, himself a Jew and a minister of the gospel to the Gentiles, plainly states in these passages that God is not done working with Jews. He will continue to woo them until the very end, when they will embrace Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. Passages of Scripture supporting this view may be found in Luke 13:34-35 (and Matthew 23:37-39, which is identical). Jesus lamented,
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
The emphasis here is on the word “until.” Jesus is actually making a prophetic statement. He is saying, in essence, that a day is coming when the Jewish people will finally cry out and accept Jesus as their Messiah; but they will not see him again until that time occurs.
A similar passage in the Old Testament may be found in Zechariah 12:10-11a. The Lord declared,
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great…
This is clearly an end-times passage intended for end-times understanding by Jews as well as Gentiles. In Zechariah 14:2a, 3-5, 8-9 this context is indisputably established. The Lord proclaimed,
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it… Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him…. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.
Jerusalem — Center of World Attention
This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. The circumstances necessary for its fulfillment did not exist until our present generation. Jerusalem had to be re-established and become the center of the world’s attention for the remaining prophecies surrounding the Lord’s return to become reality.
Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman armies in 70 AD. Yet, Zechariah 14:11, speaking of Jerusalem states, “It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.” And verse 16 adds, “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.”
Obviously, these prophecies did not come to pass prior to Jerusalem’s destruction by Rome. Therefore, the Bible is either wrong, or these things are yet to come. I believe the Bible is trustworthy, meaning that these events must still occur. In order for these prophecies to be accurately fulfilled, Jerusalem, as mentioned, had to be re-established. For this to take place the Jewish people had to be re-gathered to Israel, God’s covenant property, to revive and restore that desolate piece of land. This process began over 65 years ago and could be nearing completion.
The In-Gathering of Jews
Since Replacement theologians purport that all the biblical prophecies concerning the Jews were fulfilled long ago, they leave no room for the possibility that the current, on-going, return of Jews to Israel is a fulfillment of Scripture. Instead, they claim that any passages describing the rebirth of the Jewish nation are merely a reference to their earlier return from Babylonian captivity around 538 BC, implying that the current re-gathering is illegitimate, unscriptural, and of Satan’s doing. To determine what is true, let’s once again examine the Bible.
There are more than fifty passages that predict the endtimes re-gathering of Jews. Here are just a few. Pay special attention to the descriptive adjectives and nouns which I have highlighted in bold. (All passages are taken from the NKJV.)
Ezekiel 11:17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’
Deuteronomy 30:3-4 “…the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.”
Isaiah 11:11-12 “It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
Isaiah 43:5-6 “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And my daughters from the ends of the earth.”
Jeremiah 16:14-15 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.”
Jeremiah 29:14 “I will be found by you; says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”
Jeremiah 31:8a “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth…”
Ezekiel 39:27-28 “When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.” (The NIV reads, “not leaving any behind.”)
While there are passages in the Old Testament that plainly foretold the return of Jews from ancient Babylon, the passages above are clearly describing something else — a worldwide in-gathering of Jews on a massive scale never before realized. The fact that “none” are left behind signifies a much greater, more comprehensive and complete return than their partial migration from Babylon in the 6th century BC, in which only an estimated 15 to 20 percent of Jews made their way back to the Promised Land. The vast majority stayed behind in Babylon and eventually spread out across the world.
Even though the “Babylonian return” involved only a small minority of Jews, this minority was enough to get the job done. They rebuilt the Temple, multiplied in number, and set the stage for Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) to step onto the scene several hundred years later. Had this remnant not returned, Jerusalem would not have been restored and re-inhabited, meaning that the prophecies concerning Jesus would not have been able to come to pass as foretold. The return of Jews from Babylon, as incomplete as it was, altered the course of history and made it possible for Messiah to walk the streets of Jerusalem. It was in this city that he paid the penalty for our sins, redeeming us from eternal condemnation and punishment (for all who believe — both Jew and Gentile).
According to Scripture, this same Messiah, Jesus, is coming again — this time to rule and reign over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9, 16; Acts 1:9-11). In order for the biblical prophecies surrounding His return to be accurately fulfilled, Jerusalem and the land of Israel had to once again be revived and re-inhabited by His people. The fact that Israel has been reborn in our generation after nearly 2,000 years of desolation, and that Jews from over 100 countries have “made Aliyah” to their homeland, is perhaps the greatest sign of the times indicating we are living near the end of the age in the days just prior to Christ’s return.
Jews from around the world are making Aliyah
Some of the numbers surrounding the present, on-going return of Jews to Israel are nothing short of amazing. According to statistics provided by the website www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org, out of the 14 million Jews in the world today, 6.1 million are now living in Israel. This represents over 43 percent of all Jews. It also means that the current in-gathering is already almost three times greater than the previous return from Babylon (as a percentage of total Jewish population), and the numbers are still growing.
Since 1990, more than 1.2 million Jews have made aliyah from just the former Soviet Union (the land of the north). This in itself is a far larger number than all the Jews who returned from Babylon.
In addition to these revealing numbers pertaining to the current in-gathering of Jews, there are a few other factors that identify it as being a separate event from the Babylonian return. For one thing, Babylon was only a few hundred miles east of Jerusalem. The prophecies examined above describe the Jews as returning “from the ends of the earth,” the “four corners of the earth,” and “the farthest parts under heaven,” with a special emphasis on the north. None of these fit the Babylonian return. Also, Babylon was a single empire/country. The preceding passages describe Jews who are returning from many different countries and people groups — from very distant places and from every conceivable direction.
Today, most of the world’s Jews who do not live in Israel reside in the United States. In fact, the 6 million-plus Jews who are located in the US represent over 75 percent of all Jews living outside of Israel. Or, to put it differently, only about 1.5 million Jews live in countries other than Israel or the United States. These facts struck me in a profound way during a recent trip to Israel when I paused to reflect on their significance. What does all of this mean for America’s Jews, and for America itself?
With such a large percentage of Jews still living in the United States, and with the Bible being explicit that the Jews will be brought back from ALL parts of the world, it would appear that something drastic will happen that will expedite the return of American Jews to Israel. Either America will push Jews out as a result of a frightful Mideast development or something dire that happens to the US (much like Pharaoh finally ordering the Israelites out of Egypt), or Jews will recognize the need to flee growing persecution coming from within the US. Other possibilities exist; but whatever precipitates this out flux of Jews will probably be sudden and unexpected.
Millions of American Jews still consider the United States their home
Until recently, Jews living in France felt quite secure and thought of it as their home. Then came the anti-Jewish terrorist events of 2014. As one French Rabbi surmised during an interview, “The Jews who were optimists in Nazi Germany ended up at Auschwitz; those who were pessimists ended up in New York.” He was conveying a pointed message to his people about what might lie ahead. Many French Jews responded. During the last few months, the number of Jews making aliyah to Israel from France has more than doubled.
While in Israel I spent one night in Netanya, a beautiful coastal city of about 200,000, less than an hour north of Tel Aviv. I was told that French Jews have been flooding into this Mediterranean community but that it is now completely full. Any additional Jews from France, or elsewhere, will have to find another place in Israel to settle.
If similar events targeting Jews were to occur in America, there is little doubt that the number of Jews leaving the US for Israel would quickly multiply. Those of us with a heart for Israel and the Jewish people need to be prepared to facilitate this exodus when it occurs. As in other parts of the world, God is raising up Christian groups in America who are dedicated to helping Jews make aliyah.
One of the favorite passages of Scripture cited by these groups is found in Isaiah 49:22. It reads, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.’” These Christians believe they’ve been called by God to come alongside Jewish families and individuals longing to return to Israel.
One such organization helping Jews make aliyah is Operation Exodus USA (OEUSA). Last year Operation Exodus helped move approximately 400 American Jews to Israel. In 2015, they are expecting to assist over 600. This is just the beginning. I believe the numbers will soon increase dramatically. (Its umbrella organization, Ebenezer Emergency Fund International (EEFI), has already assisted more than 140,000 Jews return to Israel from the former Soviet Union countries.)
Operation Exodus is praying that God will provide the resources they will need to accommodate larger numbers of Jewish families. The process of moving to Israel is not easy. One must be approved by The Jewish Agency — an Israeli government organization — and secure a job and means of support before making the move. The paperwork, security/personal history checks, and cost of moving is significant. When one adds to this the cost of airline travel, it can seem overwhelming especially for young families who are most often the ones attempting to make aliyah. If you feel led to support the efforts of Operation Exodus, please visit their website at www.operationexodususa.org. They welcome prayer partners, individuals who can fill specific roles, as well as financial contributions to sustain their operations — including monetary assistance for individuals making aliyah.
A Message to America
I believe the large number of Jews living in our country, coupled with our consistent support of Israel throughout most of her recent history has caused God to keep a watchful eye on America. We have been entrusted with much responsibility and have been given enormous political influence with the rest of the world. Our nation has also been blessed with an abundance of resources beyond compare. Thus, it is extremely important that we continue to use our “sway” in a righteous God-honoring manner.
Until the 1980’s, the United States was for the most part a loyal and dependable ally to Israel. However, beginning with George Bush Sr., the US has tried to dictate Israel’s foreign, and to an ever-increasing extent its domestic policies. The push for a “two-state solution” has been steady. A majority of Democrats as well as Republicans have unfortunately stood behind our last few presidents as they have sought to divide Israel and have pressured the Jewish nation into signing unfavorable agreements with her adversaries.
In 2005, under considerable pressure, Israel finally agreed to completely withdraw her people — both civilians and soldiers — from Gaza. Hamas quickly filled the void and within a year’s time was voted into power in a landslide victory. Approximately 60 percent of Gaza’s Palestinian population voted for Hamas despite the fact that this terrorist organization (which was birthed by the Muslim Brotherhood) openly, throughout its campaign, promised to “annihilate” Israel if elected. Today, of course, Gaza is a terrorist state that presents a constant threat to Israel’s citizens.
Whenever Israel’s leaders have bowed to the pressure of a US President and the western nations backing him, by trading “land for peace,” it has never ended well for Israel. Despite this fact, Barack Obama is doing everything in his power to support Israel’s adversaries while mandating that she sign a two-state agreement. Bibi Netanyahu would have to be incredibly foolish to sign a document that would sacrifice strategic territories and make his country virtually impossible to defend. It is a tragedy when Israel’s leader has to travel to the US to publicly address Congress in an attempt to shore up support for his country against radical Islamic enemies. As we now know, our president purposefully tried to stop Netanyahu from coming to the US, and then, to prevent him from being re-elected back home.
History has shown that God deals harshly with those nations that mistreat His people. I cringe when I think of what might happen to our country if we stay on this path of making Israel’s existence difficult. At present, many American citizens appear to be standing with the Jewish state. However, our president and those in his inner circle are not. They continue to aggressively undermine Israel’s best interests at every turn.
How does God view America in light of the fact that we elected Obama not once, but twice, knowing full well where he stands on this and other issues? Will He hold us accountable for what our leader does?
A valuable lesson can be learned from Germany. Once Hitler came to power and began occupying the surrounding nations, he used his momentum smartly and proceeded to build vast concentration camps, with most Germans completely unaware of these secret projects. Soon thereafter he began rounding up Jews, and then resistant Christians. We all know what happened next. The atrocities committed were unspeakable.
The Allies finally responded and after a long bloody war, defeated Nazi Germany. In the process, parts of that country were completely destroyed and some of its largest cities leveled. The German people, including those who had opposed Hitler, suffered immensely. Many Christians, who stood strong against Hitler’s regime and managed to survive, lost friends and family members as well as most of their earthly possessions. All because of one man!
The Lord is very patient, but when His judgment falls, it affects the entire nation — including those who stand firm for righteous principles. America’s Christians must understand this. God has given our nation every opportunity to respond. He has called us to repent. He has allowed us to see what our president is all about. Only those lacking discernment cannot see where Obama is taking our nation. We are clearly running out of time as a free nation.
But even at this late hour in our nation’s history, God is working through His obedient followers. He has not forgotten us, and has a job for us to do. He has called us to be shining lights in every facet of our lives — His ambassadors in a dark and confusing world.
We must continue to oppose immorality while standing firm for righteousness and justice; and we must abandon any semblance of hypocrisy in order that those around us might see Christ in our lives. If we don’t lose heart, many will yet be drawn to the gospel through our example. Many more, however, will become increasingly hardened to the truth, regardless of what we do. Our calling as Christians is simply to be faithful, and to love the Lord with all our heart and soul.
Our love for God must be reflected in our unwavering obedience to Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). Part of our role as Christians in these last days, I believe, is to bless Israel and its people, knowing that our Savior will one day soon return and rule from Jerusalem. After defeating the beast and false prophet and their global armies gathered against Him, the Lord will establish righteousness on earth and reign with his people for one thousand years (Zechariah 14, Revelation 19-20). Lawlessness and evil will be tolerated no more, and true peace and love will finally prevail. What an incredible day that will be! Let’s remain faithful to the end, regardless of the cost.
There are a few additional points I wish to address, as they have been the source of much controversy among Christians. Please consider these prayerfully as you seek God’s leading.
●My wife and I both attended a college where a significant number of professors espoused a replacement view. After graduating, for about 15 years we were actively involved at a church where several leaders and most of the congregation held to various tenets of Replacement Theology. In the two decades since, I have spoken in churches of approximately 20 different denominations. In short, we have heard every possible pro-replacement argument there is and have witnessed the fruits of replacement teachings in an up close and personal fashion — for a long time. I can honestly say that I am speaking from firsthand experience on this matter.
A few years ago I wrote an article for our newsletter in which I listed all of the major denominations which held a replacement view. They included a vast majority of America’s church groups. In fact, virtually all of the mainline Protestant denominations support the replacement position. And, almost all of these denominations are members of the ultra-liberal World Council of Churches. These same church groups, almost without exception, are the ones promoting immoral social causes such as same-sex marriage, abortion, etc. These groups are also at the forefront of the “Christian” effort to oppose Israel and promote anti-Jewish, pro-Palestinian rhetoric. It has been my personal experience, after more than 25 years as a Christian writer and speaker, that over 80 percent of Protestants adhering to the anti-Israel replacement view invariably also support pro-gay/lesbian positions.
Most of the remaining 20 percent come from some of the “Reformed” denominations that may also hold a replacement view but have remained more conservative on the social issues. We still have a number of close friends among these churches who we dearly love but strongly disagree with when it comes to their positions on Israel and Jews. We pray that they will “come around” soon, especially as we witness more and more endtime events unfold. The problem is, these same replacement Christians also tend to reject the prophecies of Scripture describing the events and conditions leading up to Jesus Christ’s return. Most replacement adherents choose to believe that any prophecies warning of the Antichrist, world government, etc. were fulfilled in the first century via the Romans. Thus, they see no reason to heed the warnings that are really intended for our generation. In my view, Satan is cleverly setting people up to receive the Antichrist and do his bidding during the Great Tribulation.
●Some in the Replacement camp argue that the modern-day nation of Israel is illegitimate because its creation was made possible by the approval of the United Nations, an organization dedicated to establishing world government and promoting an anti-Christian agenda. While it is true that Israel came into existence with the help of a UN declaration (UN General Assembly Resolution 181), those who approved it almost immediately recognized their “bad judgment” in doing so and have opposed Israel ever since. In fact, the UN has issued more resolutions condemning Israel than against any other country — including Iran and North Korea. The resolutions going against Israel number in the hundreds. The UN has consistently been one of the most outspoken, anti-Israel organizations in the world.
The validation of Israel on a given day (November 29, 1947) by the UN, as it turns out, was nothing short of a miracle. We must understand that God is capable of causing evil powers to “play into His hands” at strategic moments in history. He is able to blind the enemy and make him do His bidding without realizing it. It has happened before; it will happen again. God alone is sovereign.
The UN’s initial approval of Israel’s formation is not entirely unlike the Jews being permitted to return to the Promised Land after their Babylonian captivity. That return was made possible because of a decree issued by Cyrus, King of Persia in 538 BC. Cyrus was an unholy, interfaith king reigning over an earthly political empire. Yet, his decree re-established the Jewish nation (Judah) where our Savior would eventually be born, and where He would live and die for our sins. Surely, no Bible-believing Christian could seriously argue that the Jewish nation of Jesus’ day was not ordained of God! The same, I believe holds true for today’s Israel.
●During my recent trip to Israel, our family visited Yad Vashem (The Holocaust Museum). One of the things we learned during our extensive tour was that the museum has in its possession the personal documents — passports, birth certificates, special IDs, etc. — verifying the deaths of more than 4.3 million Jews in the Holocaust. We actually stood in a large round room filled with the binders containing these important documents. Additional Holocaust victims are still being verified monthly, even after these many years. But most of the remaining victims will probably never be identified, because in some cases entire families — even extended families — were wiped out, leaving no trace of their death that can be publicly proven. It is my opinion, based on these facts, that a reasonable estimate for the number of Jews murdered during WWII is somewhere between 5 and 6 million. The most frequently cited number of 6 million is therefore not a sensationalized figure.
Some of the millions captured and murdered by the Nazis
My reason for mentioning this here is that a growing number of Replacement Theology adherents are denying that the Holocaust ever took place. You would not believe how many Christians have either written or spoken to me after speaking engagements or talk shows trying to make the case that the Holocaust never happened. Their most popular argument goes like this, “The Holocaust is a fraud because Germany, during the time of Hitler, only had about 500,000 Jews; so how could 6 million Jews have perished — it’s impossible.”
Their assertion that Germany only had a Jewish population of ½ million is actually true. But, what they have failed to realize out of ignorance is that a vast majority of Jews butchered by the Nazis lived in the surrounding nations that Hitler occupied. For example, Poland, where more Jews were put to death than anywhere else, had a Jewish population of 3.2 million. Ukraine likewise was home to more than 3 million Jews. A majority of them were hunted down and murdered by three Nazi incursions that swept through the northern, middle and southern parts of that country. The brutality suffered by Ukrainian Jews was incomprehensible. Other countries with significant Jewish populations that were targeted by Hitler included The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the Slavic countries (Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, etc.), Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
I have found that people who want to hate Jews are quick to buy into any argument that at first glance seems to support their view. The idea of doing any serious research never crosses their minds; or if it does, they are unwilling to take the time to look into the matter because it actually could alter their thinking. I have found that replacement proponents who hold this “denial” view on the Holocaust generally won’t budge. They believe as they do because this is what they want to believe. Isn’t it ironic, and tragic, that some Christians believe the same way on the Holocaust as Iran’s most radical Ayatollahs?!
I haven’t even addressed the Roman Catholic Church’s historical position on Replacement Theology. Being that it has been the main promoter of this teaching, an entire book could be written on the Church’s influence in advancing this view. In fact, it has already been done. A friend of mine, Merrill Bolender, has written an excellent book titled When the Cross Became a Sword, giving an historical account of the rise and spread of Replacement doctrine. I highly recommend it. It is available through our website at garykah.org.
● In Genesis 12:3 God vowed, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” I believe we are to respect and appreciate the Jews as the people group through whom God chose to work out His plan of redemption for the world. It does not mean that Christians shouldn’t oppose, or don’t have a right to take a stand against, false teachings or immoral practices if they happen to be promoted by Jewish individuals. Jesus and Paul, both of whom were Jews, were no pushovers when it came to this matter. They spoke out boldly and passionately at times against some of their own people when defending the gospel and opposing perverted views being promoted by some.
However, through it all, both men — along with all of Jesus’ disciples — continued in their strong love for the Jewish people and in their understanding that God is not done working with them. We must emulate Jesus’ example as we seek to obey Him in our times. This includes being supportive of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole.
God loves them. We must love them. Remember what Paul wrote: “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29).
●I personally believe the time will come when Israel and the Jewish people will be betrayed by the rest of the world. Having been deceived by the false promises of the Antichrist and having no remaining ally who will come to their defense amidst their time of abandonment, the people of Israel will look up and cry out to God to save them. With their backs against the wall, and having tried all else, they will finally welcome Yeshua as Messiah, realizing that He alone can rescue them. At that time Yeshua (Jesus) will return to the Mount of Olives and proceed to fight the Antichrist and his global army on Israel’s behalf at the Battle of Armageddon.
These events are clearly foretold in the Old Testament in passages such as Zechariah 12:10-11 and chapter 14 which we have already examined. In the New Testament, the Book of Revelation provides further details. Consider these words penned by John.
Revelation 16:16 “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
Revelation 14:19-20 “The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city [Jerusalem], and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia [about 180 miles].”
Revelation 19:15-21 “Out of his mouth [the LORD’s] comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, ‘Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.’ Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”
The bottom line is this: Jesus Messiah will hear the cries of Israel and will return to earth in great majesty and power to save His people, destroy their enemies, and reign in victory over all the earth ― from Jerusalem for one thousand years.
It will be a day like no other. “And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:26).
●What about those Jews who are already believers in Jesus?
Jews who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah are generally referred to as Messianic Jews or, simply, Messianics. They are doubly blessed for responding to God’s revelation in their lives. Currently, less than one-half of one percent of Israeli Jews are Messianics. However, the numbers are growing.
During our visit to Israel we learned from a Messianic couple in whose home we met, that in one small town near Tiberias, a majority of the residents are now believing Jews.
Tiberias area becoming hub for Messianics
There is even a Bible study group consisting of Messianics within the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) that meets regularly. And, we have noticed that more and more Messianic Jews are moving to Israel from other parts of the world. They believe they are heeding God’s call to pray for and minister to their people — to prepare the way of the Lord. Given these incredible developments, it should be clear to all that we are living in the countdown years to the Lord’s return. ■