“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you, till heaven and Earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.” (Mt 5:17-18)
This is the 7th day of the war that Hamas started against Israel last Shabbat (Saturday) morning, October 7. This is not so much of a prayer letter, but I do hope that it might promote prayer with understanding (however imperfect it obviously will be).
Hamas (fully supported by Iran and Qatar), Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, and the Islamic world leadership, and by implication also its adherents, are gloating over the atrocious massacres perpetrated last Shabbat. Normal human beings, even if acting in rage, would feel terrible at allowing themselves to do such a thing. But the devil and his demons take pleasure, so these people have given themselves over to him and them to do his will. Today, Friday the 13th, they are calling on Muslims the world over to express their hatred and genocidal intententions against Jewish people and Israel-supporters wherever they are. They justify slaughtering babies by saying that all Israelis are soldiers. Well then, we could turn that around and say that all Muslims are terrorists. Where will this evil logic get us!? Those who give themselves to allow such thinking to creep into their brains and hearts are complicit with the enemy of their souls.
Israel is not a Christian country. The Islamic terrorists and Islamic countries are not Christian. Both are actually anti-christian. But Jesus/Yeshua/Yasua is sovereign over all! Western nations expect Israel to act like a nation knowingly and willingly under the lordship of Jesus. Jihadi terrorists and Islamic countries totally pervert truth and decency to accuse the “brethren” of the Lord, and of His chosen people and land and city of Jerusalem. Their god is not the same as The God, who, thankfully, has become our God!
Too many people, even among Jewish people and Christians, do not fear God, and, in particular, YHVH, the Creator of the Universe in which we live, and the Redeemer and Savior of all who will believe with all their heart in the Father, and in the Son. Without the Holy Spirit, this knowledge can only be general and objective, rather than personal and dwelling within our inmost being. YHVH/Jesus/Yeshua/Yasua is the Judge, and it will not ‘save’ anyone not to believe that He exists, or that He will carry out what is necessary in order to rid the perfect New Creation of the New Heavens and New Earth of sin and sinfulness.
I read accounts by Arab believers identifying as Palestinian, and writing from their own subjective perspective. There are Jewish believers identifying as Israel, and writing from their own subjective perspective. There are Christians, especially Western Christians, speaking and writing from their own subjective perspective. (I am not exempt nor immune from having a subjective perspective.) The Apostle Paul writes to believers to renew our minds so that we will not be conformed to this world, but be transformed to prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:2) Paul was an Israeli Jew, who loved his brethren and countrymen according to the flesh. He would die and be accursed from Messiah/Christ if that would help them be saved. His heart’s desire and prayer to God is that they may be saved. But he also spoke very harsh words, in line with the Prophets and the Messiah, regarding his beloved people. (Rom 9:1-5; 10:1-4; 1Thes 2:13-16) His mind and heart had been changed by the true knowledge of the one true living God, whom he thought he had been serving faithfully when he was killing his own countrymen who had believed in Yeshua/Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. He preached and wrote from God’s perspective; from the revelation from YHVH’s perspective; from the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Not one jot or tittle of the Law and the Prophets will go unfullfilled, but God will do all that He has had written for us, and even some things that He has kept to Himself.
Moses was given to prophecy and write much about the covenant blessings and curses that pertain to Israel and the Jewish people. (Lev 26; Dt 28) The Prophets spoke and wrote much, based on the Law and the covenants, about what bad things, and what good things, would be experienced by Israel, the Jewish people, and by the Arabic nations around Israel. Much of these prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, and many are coming to fruition in our day and before our eyes. (Ezek 12:26-28; Zech 1:1-6; Dan 9:8-12) Not one jot or tittle will fail, but all will be fulfilled! The Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age. They are relevant for us today, in this generation! (1Cor 10:1-12; Mt 5:17-18)
For those of you who understand the end-times enough to know that the current and partial return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is part of God’s fulfilling His covenantal promises. Israel is still unrepentant, and therefore does not have peace and security, but thank and praise the LORD that many more today have repented and believed the gospel of salvation and the Kingdom of God! We often refer to Ezek 36 and 37 as Scriptural proofs of God fulfilling prophecy, and do not understand why so many Christians do not. Yet they will blame and judge the Jews for not believing in Jesus and for killing Him, and replacing God’s word of redemptive hope by saying that He has finished with the Jews as a nation. If that is so, then Israel is just a failed experiment, or a conspiracy, and a source of much of the world’s problems. If only we would listen to the devil and his lies and deceit, we would be much better off!!
What about Ezek 35? This is also a part of the prophecy of the end-times that are connected with the next two chapters that we often are willing to use and believe. We don’t like considering that maybe what is going on with this war is related to that part of the jots and tittles of the Law and the Prophets. It offends our sensibilities as redeemed sinners saved by grace and mercy. We want to love our enemies, and see them also get saved and become our friends and family. Christianized nations have fought many wars, and shed much blood. Sometimes things have been just, other times very questionable. Praise God that He is willing to save anyone who repents and believes the good news of His peace and goodwill proclaimed to man when the Father had angels singing and rejoicing over the human birth of His Son, Messiah/Christ the Lord Jesus/Yeshua! It is not Israel’s righteousness – or lack of it – but YHVH’s righteousness. He is on His side, not on the Jewish or the enemies’ side. (Josh 5:13-15)
Of course we want as many people as possible involved in this war to have God’s mercy upon them, and that many would find their hope and trust in Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah/Yasua alMasih. War is a consequence of sin in the world, but war is a necessary part of the reality of this world. Murder is sin; killing is not always; otherwise there could be no policemen. God is not a sinner: He is not a murderer, but He does kill a lot of people. He alone is holy and righteous! YHVH is a Man of War, and will glorify His holy Name through His defeat of Gog in the war that He has declared against him. (Ex 15:1-7; Ezek 38:14-23; Is 54:4-8)
YHVH does not change what He has written, and He will fulfill them – every jot and tittle, and even whole chapters! — using people to do some of the “dirty work”, rather than doing it all by Himself! And the people that He has particularly chosen to carry out His righteous judgments are His chosen people, the Jews in the Land of Israel. Did we ask for this? No! Did we “self-determine” this? No! It is the holy and righteous God, who is love, who has both chosen and who leads as the Lord of Hosts/Armies, whether Israel gives Him credit and glory or not for any victories. What a sacrifice of lives for victories, and for defeats. We would all rather that He just let life be comfortable, and give us pleasant opportunities to talk about Jesus with unbelievers, and leave any serious judging and war to Him after we are “out of here”!
But we are here, and it is not for born-again believers to get confused and conflate the restoration of YHVH’s Kingdom to Israel and the Gentile nations with some peace that the world gives, with Satan’s approval. He, being the god of this world, is still offering his ungodly kingdom to one who is willing to worship him in order to rule over a desolate world, and one without YHVH and His people – Jews and Christians. The antichrist will accept that. Are we putting our hope in this world, to find justice in this world, to somehow make genuine peace in this world? It is impossible with the devil being the prince of it! (2Cor 4:1-4; 1Jn 5:19-21)
Yeshua/Jesus/Yasua has called and commissioned us, until that time at the end of the age, to proclaim the gospel everywhere and to everyone, making disciples of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that He has commanded us; and He is with us to do that until the end of the days. (Mt 5:17-19) Every jot and tittle of the Law and the Prophets, and of the Messiah/Christ and His Apostles will be fulfilled!
I will stop here. A whole book could be written probably on how God is fulfilling prophecies regarding both earthly and heavenly realities, until all is fulfilled. It is all a spiritual war: YHVH vs Satan, and Yeshua/Jesus/Yasua defeated him on the cross when He gave Himself as the New Covenant blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, and He takes away the sin of the world. (Gen 3:13-15; Col 2:13-15; Jn 1:29; Mt 1:20-23) And it is being acted out in the flesh until that day when the Lord Himself comes to avenge His holy Name and the blood of the saints. Hallelu-Yah! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!