Who in the Middle East rightfully owns Israel?


In our study last time, we saw four situations that currently stand in the way of God’s (not man’s) planned New World Order for our earth and its people. 

To review, four things are out of place that must be put in place for God’s New World Order to happen:

  • The Bride of Christ (the Church) must be with her Groom, the Lord Jesus
  • The rightful owner of the Holy Land must be in the Land
  • The criminal (the devil) must be in prison
  • The King must be on the Throne

We saw that at the present time, not one of these is in their proper place! But God is moving the checker pieces on the board of geopolitical intrigue around so that one day all four will be in place. Then He will move His King into King’s Row.

In this study, we’ll be able to give this second point the extra time it deserves.

The People, Israel, Are Out of Place
The owner belongs in the land

Not only does the bride belong by her groom’s side, but the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, rightful owners of the land of Israel, belong in their land.

There will never be world order until Israel is restored to her land and there is peace, not conflict, in what we call “the Holy Land.” The Bible commands, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6).

Remember, God is not finished with the Jewish nation. They are still His chosen people. He has given us an outline of that plan in Scripture:

  • God says He’s going to regather His scattered people back to their homeland.
  • God is going to reunite the Lord Jesus with His bride, the church.
  • On earth, a time of great tribulation begins, climaxing in Jesus’Second Coming.
  • Jesus returns and “will build again the tabernacle of David”Amos, chapter 9. We’ll look at that in a moment.
  • God is not finished with the Jews. Jesus is still the Jewish Messiah. The land of Israel is still their rightful land. The Jews have been scattered far and wide across the earth, but God has a plan for the Jews. Amos declared it hundreds of years before the birth of the Savior (Amos 9) and it is an eternal plan. “Known unto God are His works from the beginning of the creation” (Acts 15:18).

What is happening in the Holy Land right now is what the Bible prophesied. In the last days, Jerusalem would be the international hot spot. A bone of contention. A source of conflict.

The world order you see today is destined to failure because of the problem of Jerusalem.

This month commemorates Israel’s 70th anniversary of her modern-day recognition as a sovereign nation once again in her land.

But have you been paying attention to the flap over the United States’ recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel? Worldwide reaction has been ludicrous. And it would be confounding if we didn’t see the devil’s handiwork in it so plainly. It’s only another excuse to foment trouble in the Middle East. Jerusalem is clearly the capital of Israel. It would be like arguing that London is not the seat of the government of England. The British Parliament is there. The Queen resides there. It is the same with Israel. The Knesset (Israel’s legislative body) meets in Jerusalem. Its prime minister resides there. Yet Jerusalem has been a bone of contention for years. The Bible prophesied that.

1. Turn to Zechariah 12: 2- 3. Speaking on God’s behalf, the prophet says,

Behold, I will make ________________ a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day I will make Jerusalem a ________________ _______ for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered against it.

Two groups of adversaries are mentioned here: “all the people round about” and “all the people of the earth.”

One of the great proofs of the Bible being God’s inspired Word is found in this prophecy. Jerusalem has indeed become a “burdensome stone” and a “cup of trembling.” Nations of the world say “Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital. The Jews have no right to the land.”

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. God has made it so, even though Arab nations and the Islamic faith say, “Jerusalem belongs to us.” The Jews say, “It is God’s gift to us.”

God gave it to Abraham, confirmed the gift through Isaac, confirmed the gift through Jacob, as we are about to see in Scripture, and it is an everlasting possession.

2. Turn in the Old Testament to the book of Amos, the 9th chapter. Read verses 9-15.

a. What does God say He will do to His people Israel? (Note that it doesn’t say God is going to “allow” it, but that He’s actually going to do it.)

b. Verse 10: For those who say, “Calamity could never happen to us,” what will happen?

c. Nevertheless, the passage takes an upward turn in verse 11. The phrase “In that day” refers to a day yet to come known as the Millennium, when the household of David, though it’s been decimated and humbled for centuries, will be reinstated. Not David himself, but one from David’s lineage.
Turn to John 7:42.

42 Hath not the scripture said, that __________ cometh of the seed of __________, and out of the town of _______________, where David was?

Jesus, as King, will reign for 1,000 years.

d. Turn to Revelation 5 and read verses 1 through 6, an amazing glimpse into Heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, “Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of __________, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a __________ as it had been slain…

Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords, will return to His land and be revealed one final time for who He is, to His chosen people.

None of what’s going on in the chaos of today takes God by surprise. From the beginning, He has had a plan, and part of that plan is bringing His people back to their land.

We don’t have to guess about God’s plan for Israel, for Scripture is clear. He gave the land to Abraham and his descendants through Jacob.

3. Turn to Genesis 17:8. God is speaking to Abraham, father of the faithful.

“And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed [children, heirs, descendants] after thee, the ___________ wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

How long did God say they would be the rightful heirs to the land?

He didn’t say, “I’m going give it to you and then take it back.” He said, “All the land of Canaan, Abraham, I’m giving to you and to your descendants for an everlasting possession.” Everlasting does not mean “for a while until you mess up.”

4. God confirmed this promise to Abraham’s son Isaac. Turn to Genesis 26:3-4.

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and I will bless thee, “for unto ______ [Isaac] and unto thy_______, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.”

God swore an oath to Abraham, then confirmed it through Isaac. But Isaac had two sons, Jacob AND Esau. Would both be the heir?

5. Turn to Genesis 28:1
1 And Isaac called _________, and blessed him, and charged him…
3 And God Almighty __________ thee,
4 And give thee the _____________of _____________, to ______, and to thy _______ with thee; that thou mayest [watch this] inherit _____ _______ wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.

6. Now, seeing that his father Isaac was blessing Jacob and sending him away to Isaac’s people to find a wife, what did Esau do to spite his father Isaac? (See verses 6-9.)

7. Read verse 13. On his way to his father’s people, one night Jacob had a significant dream. He saw a ladder reaching into Heaven and God standing above it.

What did God say to Jacob about the land?

8. In verse 14, God reveals much about the future of Jacob’s descendants, then says,

14 …and in thy seed shall ____ the _____________of the _________ be _____________.

How could one family—Jacob’s—bless all other families in the earth? Because through Jacob’s descendants the Savior would come through whom salvation is possible for every person.

9. Fast-forward to Genesis 48. Jacob is an old man now, living in Egypt, where his son Joseph is Egypt’s prime minister. Knowing Jacob has little time left, Joseph brings his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, with him to visit their grandfather. Jacob takes this opportunity to confirm once again the destiny God has for the land of Israel (Canaan) and His people. He goes back in memory and tells Joseph about an encounter He had with God Himself:

3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, “God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of _______________, and blessed me, 4 And said unto me, ‘Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a _______________ of people; and will give this ________ to thy seed after thee for an ___________________ possession.’”

There’s that phrase again: “everlasting possession.”

10. Do we have any further confirmation that the land belongs to Jacob’s descendants forever? Or is this the only place? Turn to Psalm 105:6-11.
6 Ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his ___________. 7 He is the Lord our God: His judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered His _______________ forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which _________________ He made with Abraham, and His _______unto Isaac; 10 and confirmed the same unto ___________ for a law, and to Israel for an ________________ covenant, 11 Saying, “Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your (What is the next word?

a. In verse 6, what does God call Jacob?

b. In verse 8, God calls this promise He made about the land more than just a promise. What word does He use for it?

c. Verse 9 calls the promise an ___________, and He again confirmed it to whom?

d. Verse 10—How long was this promise for?

e. Does it read as conditional or unconditional?

It could not be more plain. God has given the land we call the “Holy Land” to the Jews.

Do you want to know why we have this present chaos—why this so-called “world order” never comes to order? Because the Jewish people are out of place—they’ve been dispossessed from a great deal of the land God gave to Abraham, and God prophesied it would happen.

Today we have a doctrine prevalent in many churches—tragically in some of our high-profile “evangelical” churches. It is the doctrine of “replacement” theology”—
  • that the church has replaced Israel.
  • that God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants no longer apply.
  • that the covenant God made—the “everlasting covenant”—is now null and void, and everything God promised to literal, physical Israel has now transferred to the Church.
Be on the lookout for “replacement theology.” You’ll see it today among Bible-believing Christians, many of them prominent. However, I stand with what the Bible makes clear:
  • God gave the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants.
  • God said to a thousand generations it is an everlasting covenant.
  • God also allowed that there would be problems with His people, the Jews

11. Let’s look at these problems and why Israel is still not fully back in her land. First, God says, “They’re going to disobey Me.” And did they ever. For centuries. Even through being taken into exile in Babylon. And hundreds of years later, conspiring to put to death their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the religious leaders tried to cover up His resurrection.

Turn to Ezekiel 36: 17:

17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they _____________ it by their own ______ and by their doings: their way was before me as the ______________________ of a removed woman.”

The way they lived was repugnant to God.

12. Continuing in Ezekiel 36. God said, “Because of their disobedience, they will be dispersed.” Listen to this, verses 18 and 19.

18 Wherefore I poured My _______ upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their _______ wherewith they had polluted it: 19 and I ______________ them among the heathen, and they were _______________ through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.”

a. What did God say happened to them?

b. Who was responsible for the punishment God gave them?

They disobeyed.
They were dispersed—scattered and judged.
They were disgraced.

c. Continue to verse 20:

20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they __________________ My holy name, when they said to them, “These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land.”

Think about it. A group of rag-tag, pitiful exiles dragged from their homeland into a heathen land, but bearing the label “The People of God”! What an embarrassment to Almighty God, who had blessed them and put them in their land, giving them abundance, and the skills and materials to erect a magnificent Temple to His glory, decorated with gold, silver and fine linens—now to have them exiled in tattered disgrace.

You understand, God saw not only their present state but also their future. He saw that even the 2nd great Temple, constructed in 519 B. C., then expanded by Herod in 19 B.C, and finally finished in 63 A.D., would, just 7 short years later, be completely destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

The Jews were the “chosen people,” but they became a disgrace to God! And they profaned the name of God as they went out. But that wasn’t the end of the story:
Concerning the Jews, we see three things:

God RESOLVED to bring them home.

God said there would be a miracle for the Jews…He resolved to bring them back one day to their land.

13. Continuing in Ezekiel 36 verse 21.

“But I had ______ for Mine ______ ______, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen whither they went”

God is concerned with His own honor, and God has made a covenant. So He continues,

22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God: I do _____ this for ______ sakes, O house of Israel, but for ____ holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord,

saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.”

a. Why is God going to all manner of effort to rescue the people of Israel?

God says, “For my name’s sake, I am going to be sanctified. I am going to be glorified, and the heathen are going to see what I do.” What was God going to do?

God RETURNED them to their land.

14. Not only does He resolve, but He says, “They’re going to return.”

24 “For I will _____ _____ ______ among the heathen, and ___________ ____ out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”

That’s been happening before our very eyes. Many of us are still alive who remember May 14 and 15, 1948.

This is why you often hear it said of Israel, “A nation was born in a day.”

President Harry Truman quickly granted recognition to the new State of Israel. The story is told that Truman was moved to do this because he remembered the words of his mother long ago who cautioned him that the Jews were God’s chosen people, and that the Bible repeatedly had both cautions to those who came against His people and blessings for those who blessed His people. Truman remembered that.

Since that day, we’ve seen Soviet Jews—as many as are able—return, and Jews from all over the world migrate back to the Promised Land.

God will RESTORE them to Himself.

We await the fulfillment of this. God not only says they’re going to return, but there’s coming a day when they will look upon the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah. They will be spiritually born again.

15. A complementary passage to Ezekiel 36 is Zechariah chapters 12-14.

Turn for a moment to Zechariah 12:10, one of the most thrilling verses in Bible prophecy concerning the nation of Israel:

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

a. Who is speaking here? (Who was pierced?)

b. What will be the reaction of the people of Israel (“the inhabitants of Jerusalem”)?

This occurs at the Second Coming of Christ. Zechariah 12:10 focuses on the Jews. Without going into the timeline of these events and the drama surrounding them, when a cohort of nations conspires to come against Israel under the direction of the AntiChrist, and all hope for rescue of Israel and Jerusalem appears to be lost, Jesus Christ Himself, their Messiah, will return. He will extinguish AntiChrist and his forces. The Jews will recognize the Lord Jesus as their Messiah and with great contrition realize He is the very one their forefathers rejected.

Is Israel at that point now? No. Is Israel still out of place? Yes. Things are still out of order.

In a vain quest for “peace and safety,” Israel has given up great portions of the land they once possessed—land God gave them as their inheritance—just to appease their bitter enemies—their neighbors. The “land for peace” diplomatic schemes only resulted in Israel giving up a little bit here and a little bit there of her land to get the promised “peace”—but no peace has come.

This is another reason why we say “Israel is out of place.” She is out of relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, and she is out of her rightful place of a good portion of the land God swore to her.

What does the New Testament have to say about all this?

16. Turn to Romans 11:25. The Apostle Paul spends the entire 11th chapter of Romans discussing God’s people Israel.

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this _____________, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits that ____________ in part is happened to Israel ________ the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

A time is coming when “the fulness of the Gentiles will come in”—when the last Gentile soul has been saved, and God is finished with His plan for the Gentiles. Paul is writing to Gentiles saying, “Now, Gentiles, don’t be dumb, and don’t be boastful. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t be wise in your own conceits. Yes, some precious Jews are Christians, but ‘blindness in part is happened to Israel.’”

When you talk to a Jewish friend and try to share Jesus the Messiah with them, they don’t see it. And they’re not lying when they say they don’t see it. They don’t see it!

17. Note the last word in verse 26.

26“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it, as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and he shall turn away ungodliness from (what)?

The last word is very important. Notice, it doesn’t say “from Israel”—that’s the name for spiritual Israel. But Jacob is always used for Jews, physical descendants of Jacob. God declares that he is going to turn away the ungodliness from Jacob.

18. Turn to Psalm 122: 6.

“Pray for the __________ of Jerusalem. They shall ___________ that love thee.”

Do you want to prosper? This verse may have been one of those President Harry Truman’s mother was thinking of when she told her son about the Jewish people.

God says if you bless His people, the Jews, He will bless you. If you curse them, He will curse you. God has an everlasting love for His people.

19. Turn to Psalm 137:5-6

5 If I _________ thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 6 If I do not _______________ thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I __________ not Jerusalem above my ________ joy.

God loves Israel, His chosen people. We are to love what God loves. We should pray for the salvation of Jewish people.

We could go through many other verses. Just a few for your consideration:

Speaking to Israel, the Lord says through Jeremiah:

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

The apostle Paul quotes Isaiah:

27Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” Romans 9:27

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” Romans 10:1

We are indebted to the Jews for the Bible. We’re indebted to the Jews for the Savior. We are really indebted to the Jews from a human viewpoint for our salvation, because Jesus said in John 4:22, “For salvation is of the Jews.” It is from and through the Jews that from the Lord we have received the Word of God and the Messiah.

As our purpose in these studies is always to “dig deeper” than there was time to do during the preaching of this message, I urge you to go back to Ezekiel 36 and read the remaining verses in this chapter.

20. Back now to Ezekiel 36, to verses 25-27.

a. Again, who is the prophet Ezekiel speaking on behalf of here?

“And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your ________, I will cleanse you. 26 A new _________ also will I give you, and a new __________ will I put within you: and I will ______ _______ the __________ heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My __________ within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”

b. When God’s Spirit comes to reside inside someone, what does that signify about the person?

c. If all Israel has their stony hearts replaced with a heart of flesh and God’s Spirit is placed within them, what does this mean for these individual Jews?

The Amplified Bible says it this way:

25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My ordinances and do them. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you will be My people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36 is one of the most moving chapters in the Bible. It describes the end of a long, long love story, a love story that began when God called Abram from his hometown, Ur of the Chaldees, and brought him along to become a father whose descendants would be more numerous than the stars in the heavens. It is the “happily ever after” the Jews have been looking for since their disobedience brought on the Babylonian captivity. But it’s not really the end of the story—it signals a new beginning:

Revelation 21:1—“And I [John] saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

I won’t ask you to turn to these verses—just sit back and worship the Lord as you read:

Isaiah 65:17
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.

Isaiah 66:22
"For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "So your offspring and your name will endure.”

Romans 8:21
that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found.

2 Peter 3:13
But in keeping with God's promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Don’t let anyone tell you, precious friend, that God is finished with Israel. Replacement theology is wrong. God has not replaced Israel with the Church.

  • God says He’s going to take the church out (the Rapture), and the bride will be with the Groom.
  • God says, “I will return, and I will build again the tabernacle of David.”
  • God says, “I’m going to take away from my people Israel their stony heart. I’m going to put in them a heart of flesh.”
  • From Jerusalem, the Lion of the tribe of Judah will reign for a thousand years.

I’m reminded of the last verse of that great hymn, “Glorious Is Thy Name, O Lord”—

Come, O come, Immortal Savior,
Come and take Thy royal throne.
Come and reign, and reign forever,
Be the Kingdom all Thine own

So what are we to do? We are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. There will never be peace on earth or a world order until there’s peace in Jerusalem.

If you’d like to hear this message in its entirety, which aired on Friday, April 27, you can hear it anytime through our web site www.lwf.org in our broadcast archives.

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