WHY THE MIDEAST BLEEDS
By Rev. Ted Pike
5 Jan 06
Today, a wound in the MidEast refuses to be healed - a perpetual pain
that defies all anesthetic. This pain continuously provokes its victims
into acts of desperate rage as they attempt to rid themselves of the
thorn that torments them. Throughout this century, wars have been fought
in the MidEast to end the pain. They have only increased it. The nations
have gathered around, attempting through many proposals to bring peace,
to no avail. Instead, the pain only intensifies.
Why has there been no cure? It is because beneath the crisis in
the MidEast is a crisis of perception and understanding. There has
been no remedy because few understand or have the courage to understand
why the MidEast bleeds.
Secular World Accepts Religious Argument
For the past century, the secular world has largely accepted a
religious argument justifying Israel's occupation of Palestine. Yet
that religious argument, that God gave Palestine to the Jews, is
a half-truth. The whole truth is that God repeatedly warns in the
Old Testament that if the Jews do not obey Him, practicing justice
and righteousness, He will expel them from their Promised Land. They
cannot come back unless they obey.
Ignoring God's terms of "no obedience, no return," both
Zionists and evangelical Christians have rammed a cruel and unbiblical
return down the throats of the Arab world. The result? Perpetual
strife rends the MidEast, international terrorism plagues the whole
Yet Jews and Christians can still do what is right. The Bible presents
the only workable plan for peace in the MidEast. Let's consider what
the Bible says on this controversial issue.
No Obedience, No Land
God's conditional terms of occupancy are bluntly laid down in Deuteronomy
4:25-27. "When you ... do that which is evil ... you shall surely
perish quickly from the land ... And the Lord will scatter you among
the peoples." What are His terms for letting the Jews back in?
In Deuteronomy 30:2-3, God says, "If ... you return to the Lord
your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul ... Then the Lord
your God will restore you from your captivity." (See also Leviticus
23:33-34; Deuteronomy 6:16, 7:12; Ezekiel 13:9; and Jeremiah 29:13.)
God's timeless requirement of obedience was illustrated in the
time of Joshua. In Numbers 13:25-30 God invited the Hebrews to occupy
Palestine by faith. Yet when unbelief emerged, He refused to let
them in. Ultimately, He condemned that rebellious generation to die
in the wilderness. Only a new obedient generation would be allowed
to take root in a land dedicated to obedience. Earlier, Moses passionately
desired to enter Canaan, just as Zionists desire to occupy Palestine
today. God refused to let him in because on one occasion he failed
to sanctify God among the congregation (Deuteronomy 26:33-34).
In the Old Testament when Israel and Judah rejected God, both nations
were exiled from Palestine: the northern kingdom of Israel by the
Assyrians in 721 B.C. and the southern kingdom by the Babylonians
in 597 B.C. Only abject repentance entitled a small remnant under
Ezra and Nehemiah to return from Babylon and again occupy their land
of promise. After the Jews' rejection and crucifixion of Christ,
they were again scattered among the nations in fulfillment of God's
ancient decree. Today the Zionists still have not practiced justice,
mercy, and righteousness. In fact, modern Zionism, supported by evangelical
Christianity, claims that obedience no longer matters. Both evangelicals
and Zionists claim that victories in war and making Israel "blossom
as the rose" through agricultural success are proof that God
is smiling on Israel.
Who Has Rights of Occupation?
Whom should the world recognize as the rightful occupants of Palestine?
Let's go back to 597 B.C. when Judah was exiled to Babylon because
of her sins. God gave temporary rights of occupation to anyone who
wanted to inhabit Palestine. God endorsed occupation by people known
as Samaritans. For them, occupation was not conditional upon strict
obedience. What was vitally important to God was that unrepentant
Jews not be allowed as a nation to occupy His holy land.
Today the Palestinians enjoy the same Divine approval to occupy
the land that God gave the ancient Samaritans. Do Palestinians own
the land? No. According to Scripture, ownership of Palestine is held
in escrow on behalf of a repentant remnant of Jews to be revealed
at Christ's second coming. St. Paul makes it clear in Romans 9 that
ownership of Palestine belongs to such believing Jews through faithfulness
to God's covenant. Unbelieving Israel thus cannot occupy a land consecrated
to obedience. If Jews inhabit Palestine in violation of God's law,
the region will only produce grief and discord. That is why all peace
proposals in the MidEast have failed. America's endorsement of such
spiritual lawlessness will only entangle us in further animosity
in the MidEast.
What is the right thing to do?
The Right Thing to Do
According to the Bible, Jews in Palestine should return to the
prosperity and safety of Jewish communities scattered throughout
the world. There, according to Jeremiah 29:4-7, they are to build,
plant, and seek the peace of those kingdoms in which they dwell.
Scripture promises Jews will have peace if they do so. Advocacy of
such a return does not encourage persecution of Jews or "drive
Israel into the sea." Instead, it helps deliver them from further
anti-Semitism. The fact is, Zionism stimulates hatred of Jews. The
modern state of Israel was established to provide safe haven for
European Jewry. Yet, ironically, the Zionist occupation of Palestine,
as they persecute and expel Palestinians, only heightens hatred of
the Jewish people worldwide. It would be difficult to imagine a less
secure place for Jews than Israel today!
The argument can be made, of course, that God's law is impractical
in the 21st century. Yes, it is inconvenient. But it is also God's
law and therefore right. The alternative: Heightened hatred and possible
MidEast war, destroying staggering numbers of Arabs, Jews, and probably
Americans, is much more inconvenient. This threat is even more ominous
because of the prevalence of weapons of mass destruction within Israel
and the world today.
Inciting Arab Terrorism
Tragically, despite the clearest spiritual ban against Jewish re-occupation
of Palestine, both Israel and its evangelical supporters remain more
determined than ever to make the Zionist experiment succeed at any
cost. This results in even more determined and fanatical Arab resistance,
as evidenced by the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001.
The Arab world today is angry and even violent, like a tiger with
a thorn in its paw. If the thorn (Israel) would remove itself, the
tiger, relieved of its pain, would eventually relax. The MidEast
would return to relative peace. Arab international terrorism would
have lost its primary reason to exist. If the thorn would remove
itself, there would be no need for an American war on terrorism.
Government snooping and the loss of individual rights and privacy
in the name of "homeland security" would be unnecessary.
There would be no need for America to make the MidEast safe for Israel.
All these sacrifices lead back to the false premise that Christian
civilization has a religious duty to preserve the political state
of Israel at any cost.
Someday, the Bible tells us, a repentant remnant of Jews will return
to Christ out of great tribulation. They will give Him the obedience
He demands. At Christ's second coming, He will lead this remnant
back to the land of their forefathers. They will dwell there lawfully
in peace. This will be the only Biblically legitimate return of Jews
to Palestine in more than 2,000 years. Such a return will gloriously
fulfill hundreds of Old Testament prophecies.
Will Israel Obey God's Law?
Will the Biblical call for Jews to return to the lands of their
dispersion be heeded? Of course not. Israel today is fated for even
greater transgressions as she becomes the foundation upon which a
one-world government, ruled over by her long-awaited false Messiah,
Anti-Christ, will be established (Ezekiel 39:22-29, 2 Thessalonians
2:1-12, Revelations 17,18).
One of the great founding fathers of Israel, Prime Minister and
Marxist David Ben Gurion, confirmed Biblical prophecy: "Jerusalem
is not the capitol of Israel and world Jewry; it aspires to become
the spiritual center of the world" (Jewish
December 16, 1949). "All continents will become united in a
one-world alliance, at whose disposal will be an international police
force. All armies will be abolished, and there will be no more war.
In Jerusalem the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build
a shrine of the prophets to serve the federated union of all continents:
This will be the seat of the Supreme Court of all mankind, to settle
all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by
Isaiah" (Look magazine, January 16, 1962).
Is it in vain that we resist this rising MidEast juggernaut? Not
at all. The decrees of prophecy are elastic and can be restrained
when we call to God and take action. Also, simply knowing the spiritual
illegitimacy of the state of Israel empowers us to separate ourselves
from support of Israel's injustices and ambitions. This relieves
our consciences of a very heavy burden: that we, by bidding Godspeed
to her, have helped build up the walls of Babylon the Great.
[Article adapted from Ted Pike's video documentary, "Why the