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5 January, 2006 By Rev. Ted Pike

The movie is down at the end of the article.

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 world.

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 Chronicle, London, 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 MidEast Bleeds"]

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