But now, millennia after Rome expelled the Jews and renamed the land Palestine, these Edomites are considered to be “Palestinian” Arabs. These so-called “Palestinian” Arabs are now trying to revise the much older history of Israel and so describe themselves as victims of the Israeli state. There are more Arabs in Israel today than there were in 1948 before many of them left. The news media and the Palestinians tell us that Israel forced them to leave in 1948. That is not true.


The “Palestinians”

Most converted Christians and religious Jews are interested in Israel. Why this interest in Israel? Because that is what the Bible talks about. That is where God focuses. While the New Testament mentions cities and churches in Greece and Turkey and Rome, the Old Testament is pretty much limited to what is now called Israel. This country and the surrounding Middle East region has been the focus of much news and commentary for a long time. But now there are two so-called Palestinian governments on Israeli land: One in Gaza, the other in the so-called West Bank, Samaria and Judea. Why did this happen?In 1948, the Jewish state was reestablished after nearly 2000 years. Since that time and even before, Jews from all over the world have been returning to Israel. Since 1948 we have seen several Arab wars against Israel with miraculous consequences to those armies who try to eradicate Israel. Why have the vastly outnumbered Jews won these wars so miraculously?The last few years we have seen a people who call themselves Palestinians rioting against and attacking Israel almost continuously. Where did the “Palestinians” come from? What are their goals? What does the Bible say about them and their future?

Today we will try to answer these and other questions about the people the world calls the Palestinians.

We’ll spend a lot of time in the book of Ezekiel. This prophetic book was written by a Jewish captive in Babylon about a 125 years after the house of Israel, the ten northern tribes, were taken captive by the Assyrians. It is written to end-time Israel.

Let’s start with Ezek 36:1 (NKJV) “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD!

What are the mountains of Israel? Some feel that they represent the government of Israel. But most would agree that they are the mountains running north and south through the heart of Israel. The ones Jerusalem and Bethel and Ai and Shilo and Shechem and Bethany and Hebron lie in. The ones Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebekah and Leah and Jacob and Joshua and Joseph and David are buried in. The ones Jesus died in.

They also constitute the bulk of what is called the West Bank. When one hears the term “The West Bank” what you are really hearing is “the mountains of Israel” because they both describe nearly identical land. The mountains of Israel are Biblically described as Samaria and Judea. They extend from the Jezreel Valley, just north of Nablus or Shechem, south about 150 miles to about the southern end of the Dead Sea. Why is this region called the West Bank? West Bank is the name given to the region by the world news media after Jordan captured it in the Israeli War for Independence in 1948. West Bank simply means that region of Jordan lying west of the Jordan River. Does it matter that Jordan relinquished her claim to the area after the 1967 war? Apparently not. The media and the Arabs still think it is a more useful name than the Biblical names of Samaria and Judea, which would imply ancient Israeli ownership and a recognition of the Biblical name. Do you ever wonder who inspires the media and the Israel-hating Arabs?

Why would God through Ezekiel be addressing the mountains of Israel? Why are so many religious Jews and evangelical Christians concerned about giving the West Bank and particularly Jerusalem to the Palestinians? What used to be called the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is now called the Palestinian Authority, a name designed to provide respectability to the terrorist organization. You see, there is no Palestinian culture, no Palestinian language, there has never been a land called Palestine which was ruled by Palestinians. Palestinians are just another group of Arabs. The word Palestine was given to the region by the Romans who were trying to erase everything Jewish from the land, including the name “Israel.” But let’s turn to a few scriptures to find out why many people are concerned about Israel and the West Bank.

Gen 13:11-12 (NKJV) Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. {12} Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched <his> tent even as far as Sodom.

verses 14-15 (NKJV) And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward; {15} “for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever….”

Gen 15:18 (NKJV) On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates;

God gave Abraham and his descendants a whole lot more land than what is now Israel. He gave him land extending over much of what is now Syria, western Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula. Did his descendants include Ishmael who was to become the father of the Arabs? Abraham would have liked it that way but God had other ideas. Let’s look at Genesis 17:18.

Gen 17:18-19 (NKJV) And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” {19} Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; [meaning “to laugh”] I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, <and> with his descendantsafter him.

So Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, did not inherit God’s covenant with Abraham.

The promise later passed from Isaac to Jacob. Gen 28:3-4 describes Isaac’s blessing on Jacob.

Gen 28:3-4 (NKJV) “May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; {4} And give you the blessing of Abraham, To you and your descendants with you, That you may inherit the land In which you are a stranger, Which God gave to Abraham.”

Do you see any conditions upon which God’s promise was based? Must the Israelites live a perfect life? No, He simply said the land was their’s to use. The promise was UNconditional. If you read Genesis 15:17, you’ll read of a ceremony where God made the covenant binding only on Himself – only God walked between the carcasses, not Abram. Did God change His mind when Israel sinned in Egypt? No. He returned them back to the land. What did He have to say about the land when He was telling the Israelites about the results of sinning?

Lev 26:38 (NKJV) You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.

verses 43-45 (NKJV) The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes. {44} Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I <am> the LORD their God. {45} But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I <am> the LORD.’ “

So the Israelites were scattered – several times. What did God say about their land after their return?

Ezek 36:19 (NKJV) “So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. [In other words, He judged them by their works.]

verse 24 (NKJV) “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

The land was still theirs centuries later when they returned from captivity. Could the Eternal have revoked His promise after the time of Christ? Did He turn His back on His promise to the Jews after they rejected Christ? This is the theme of present day Replacement Theology.

Rom 11:29 (NKJV) For the gifts and the calling of God <are> irrevocable.

Jer 31:35-37 (NKJV) Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts <is> His name): {36} “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, <then> the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” {37} Thus says the LORD: “If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD.

Doesn’t sound like God could renege on His promise, does it? When we see the sun give daylight, the moon and stars providing night light, the sea and its waves, does it remind us that Israel still owns the land and still continues to be a nation? That is not the belief of mainline Christian Churches such as the Methodists, the Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Lutherans, and the Episcopalians who believe that the church has replaced the Israelis as God’s favorite people and so see the land as belonging to the so-called “Palestinians.” Their position is known as replacement theology. It is strongly opposed by Messianics, Evangelical Christians and Christian Zionists.

As I said, Israel became a Jewish state in 1948. In the six-day war of 1967 Jews recaptured Judea and Samaria from the Jordanians after which Jordan publicly relinquished the land. Since 1948 the Jews have returned to Israel by the millions.

Ezek 11:17 (NKJV) “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.”

The landlord is still God.

What was the condition of the land when the Jews returned? God tells us (of course):

Ezek 6:2 (NKJV) “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,

verse 6 (NKJV) “In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.

In order to destroy all the idolatry the Israelites left behind, God destroyed their cities and their religious places throughout the country. God hates idolatry. Our God is a jealous God.

verse 8 (NKJV) “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have <some> who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries.

Yes, He left a remnant, probably not just for their own protection but also to demonstrate that the Israelites had not totally deserted their land.

verse 14 (NKJV) ‘So I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land desolate, yes, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblah, in all their dwelling places. Then they shall know that I <am> the LORD.’

The land was under Turkish control from 1517 to 1917 (ten times forty years), and Turkey destroyed this land thoroughly. The rulers enacted ridiculous laws; for example, one which required taxes to be paid for live trees. The people cut down the trees so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes! The country therefore ended up in a very wretched condition, empty of trees and covered with rocks where once great forests had stood. Many authors, including Mark Twain, described the land as being devoid of any living creatures other than birds of prey and foxes.

But what of the people living in Israel? In 1864 about half the people of Jerusalem were Jews; about a third were Moslems. Hebron, Jerusalem, Tiberias all had semi-autonomous Jewish areas. When the Jews began returning to Israel in the mid-to-late 19th century, there were so few people living there, they could settle in most of the Holy Land without displacing anyone.

In 1920 the League of Nations designated British-occupied Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people. Palestine then included all of what is now Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank. The land was no more than set aside for the Jews than the Arab nations revolted against the decision forcing Britain to designate the area that is now Jordan for the Arabs and install an Arab monarchy. Britain was politically protecting its oil sources but Israelis thereby lost over fifty percent of their land.

Jewish settlements created jobs to which neighboring Arabs were drawn. As Jewish settlements grew, Arab settlements grew up around them. The rise of Hitler caused more Jewish people to return to the land. But Islamic opposition and terrorism against the British and in favor of Hitler Germany persuaded England to reduce the number of Jewish people allowed to return at the time they most needed the land to escape the Nazi extermination camps. Britain was again worried about her Arab oil supply. They traded human lives for Arab oil. Is the US now following this pattern in its relations with Israel and Arab peoples too? If so, what will be our punishment?

As we said before, following the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, all the surrounding Arab states attacked Israel. Israel successfully resisted these Arab armies, even though it really had no army of its own. Since that time Arab neighbors have done everything possible to destroy and eradicate the Israeli state. God has seen to it that the Israelis nearly always came out victorious. Lebanon was an exception. Is that because the Jews are so righteous? Not at all. Why then has God sided with the Jews over the Arabs in their wars and what has this to do with the “Palestinians,” the subject of this sermon?

Ezekiel 36, which we have read a little of today, talks about the return of the Israelites. Ezekiel 35 talks about the Edomites. The two chapters are related, as we shall see.

Let’s look at verse 1 of Ezekiel 35:

Ezek 35 (NKJV) Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, {2} “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir [Say-eer’] and prophesy against it, {3} “and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O Mount Seir, I <am> against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, And make you most desolate; {4} I shall lay your cities waste, And you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I <am> the LORD.

Mount Seir is the name of a fifty mile long mountain range south-southeast of the Dead Sea, in what is now Jordan. It is in the ancient land of Edom – where Esau settled.

Gen 36:8 (NKJV) states: So Esau dwelt in Mount Seir. Esau <is> Edom.

So we can see here that God is opposed to Edom. You may remember that Esau married the daughters of Ishmael and his children thereby became Arab princes. But there was a specific reason why God is opposed to Edom. It stemmed from an ancient hatred of Israel by Esau. You might remember that Jacob attempted to trade his brother Esau’s birthright for a bowl of stew, and Esau agreed to it. Let’s begin reading about it in Genesis 25:

Gen 25:34 (NKJV) And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised <his> birthright.

Later Isaac gave Jacob his blessing. When Esau found out that Jacob had both the birthright and the blessing, jealousy filled his heart and he hated Jacob. Esau planned to kill Jacob.

Gen 27:41 (NKJV) So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

But the history of this hatred does not end there. Hundreds of years later, when Moses wanted to take the Israelites through a portion of Edom on their way to the promised land, the following occurred:

Num 20:14 (NKJV) Now Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. “Thus says your brother Israel: ‘You know all the hardship that has befallen us,

verses 18-21 (NKJV) Then Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through my <land>, lest I come out against you with the sword.” {19} So the children of Israel said to him, “We will go by the Highway, and if I or my livestock drink any of your water, then I will pay for it; let me only pass through on foot, nothing <more>.” {20} Then he said, “You shall not pass through.” So Edom came out against them with many men and with a strong hand. {21} Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

Hundreds of years after Jacob, Edom still hated Israel. They and the Ammonites and the Moabites, all three occupying what is Jordan today, joined together to destroy Israel. In 2 Chr 20:10 Jehoshaphat, king of the house of Judah is talking to God.

2 Chr 20:10-11 (NKJV) “And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir; whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them; {11} “here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession [God’s possession] which You have given us to inherit.

Jehoshaphat and the Jews humbled themselves before the Lord and the Lord then protected Israel by causing the three tribes to fight among themselves.

verse 24 (NKJV) So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there <were> their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped. [It seems that when Arabs aren’t fighting Israel, they tend to fight each other. We’ve seen that happen recently in Algeria and Iraq and Gaza.]

God defended the Jews from extinction. This ancient hatred of Jews by Palestinian Arabs continues to this day. In 1929 and 1936 Arabic Moslems massacred Jewish people living in Hebron. Mufti-inspired riots killed 66 in 1929 and in 1936 the Jews were driven from the city by the British to prevent continued killings. In 1948 fanatic Moslem gangs prevented food from reaching the starving people of Jerusalem. Since that time Moslem nations have continued their hatred by instilling hatred of Jews in school children. Palestinian school maps do not even reflect the nation of Israel and their school books have such statements as:

“Israel was born to die. Prove it.”

“The Arabs do not cease to act for the extermination of Israel”

“People all over the world have come to realize that Hitler was right … the whole world … has expelled them and despised them … and burnt them in Hitler’s crematoria … Would that he had finished it!”

In 1941, the Islamic leader in Jerusalem, Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, an uncle of Yassar Arafat, met with Hitler and supported the Nazi cause to encourage him to slaughter Jews in Europe so they couldn’t escape to settle in Palestine. Hitler, in turn, announced that the Arabs were then part of the axis powers. In 1948, when Israel announced its independence, al-Husseini ordered Arab families to flee Israel so that Arab armies could invade Israel, and before his death he founded the PLO which he turned over to his nephew Yassar Arafat, to whom he was mentor. Arafat’s life purpose, imbued with Nazi hatred of Jews like his uncle, was not to establish a Palestinian state. That was only one means among others to gain his ultimate goal, which was to slaughter every Jew in Israel and “drive them into the sea.”

Back to Ezekiel 35 where we were talking about God’s anger with Mount Seir or Edom:

{5} “Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed <the blood of> the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, <when> their iniquity <came to an> end, {6} “therefore, <as> I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. {7} “Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. {8} “And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. {9} “I will make you perpetually desolate, and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I <am> the LORD. {10} “Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although the LORD was there, . . . .

Breaking in in the middle of this sentence, what are the two nations? Most feel they are either the houses of Israel and Judah, or Samaria and Judea. Before 1948 there were many Jewish settlements in these two areas. After 1948, Jordan refused to let Jews live in these areas and destroyed their homes, synagogues, and businesses. Now that Israel owns and occupies the area again, the Arabs want the land back. What’s worse, the Israelis are putting the so-called West Bank under the Palestinian Authority’s (the Fatah terrorist’s) administration, who the Israeli and American governments think, will repay with peace. In my opinion, this is only another step of transferring God’s covenant land to the Arabs.

{11} “therefore, <as> I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. {12} “Then you shall know that I <am> the LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’ {13} “Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard <them>.” {14} ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate. {15} “As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom; all of it! Then they shall know that I <am> the LORD.” ‘

Why is God punishing the Edomites? Not because He hates them but because He wants them to wake up and accept the true God’s supremacy, and accept that the land belongs to Israel. Is God saying that just the Arabs will know He is the LORD or does He include all Israel too? Could this be the time when the Jews finally accept Yeshua as their Messiah?

Nations around the world doubted the Israeli’s ability to survive the 1948 war of independence. But God had predicted the results millennia before:

Isa 66:9-10 (NKJV) Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up <the womb>?” says your God. {10} “Rejoice with Jerusalem, And be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;

In 1948, the Israeli army was outnumbered. They had little training. Their military equipment was old and unreliable but they survived the attacks by six Arab countries. But Israel also had other problems. For months Arab terrorists prevented food from reaching Jewish people in Jerusalem. But the Lord showed that He was watching over His people. In April of 1948 a weed called khubeiza provided miraculous relief to the hungry Jewish population. The spinach-like herb sprang up wild . . . Women scoured the fields of the city looking for it. A few weeks later an unseasonable three-day rain struck Jerusalem, bringing a new and totally unexpected crop of khubeiza pushing up from the soil.

In verse 12 of Ezekiel 35, we read that God considers the words attacking the mountains of Israel as blasphemous. Why? How? God still owns the land of Israel. He has brought the Israelites in to occupy the land with signs and wonders to demonstrate His power to the world. The Lord is faithfully keeping His promises. The Jews have been scattered three times: once into Egypt, later into Babylon in 586 B.C., and last by the Romans in 70 A.D. The Land did become desolate but the Jews are now returning. The great exodus from the north (Russia – Jer 23:8) has been going on for quite a few years. The desert is blooming. Jewish settlements are springing up in the mountains of Israel. Israel has been a blessing to the Middle East. It is a prosperous, free country, and has attracted many Arabs to it. The truth of Bible prophesy is proved beyond doubt.

But what were the Edomites doing all this time? Shortly after Judah’s exile to Babylon, the Edomites migrated from their home in Mt. Seir to southern Judea and the Negev. This may have been encouraged by the Philistines who occupied the present area of Gaza. Many understand the Philistines to have come from Greek stock. From that time on Edomites were known as the Idumaeans, a Greek word meaning Edomites.

Why would the Edomites leave their homeland? At about this time the Nabateans, a Central Arabian desert tribe, pushed at the Edomites sufficiently that the Edomites were driven from their mountain fortresses and eventually from their rock city of Petra. It appears that the movement of Edom (Idumaea) into Judea was the result of their retreat from Mr. Seir and Petra. The result, of course, was the introduction of Edomites into the land of Judah. So Ezekiel’s prophesy appears to be dual: Once as the Edomites first moved into Judah and now in today’s world as the Edomites try to push the Jews out of the land of Israel.

(Ezek 36:4-5 NKJV) ‘therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around; {5} ‘therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.”‘

The KJV uses the name Idumaea instead of Edom in verse 5. Does plunder and mockery equal land for peace?

But now, millennia after Rome expelled the Jews and renamed the land Palestine, these Edomites are considered to be “Palestinian” Arabs. These so-called “Palestinian” Arabs are now trying to revise the much older history of Israel and so describe themselves as victims of the Israeli state. There are more Arabs in Israel today than there were in 1948 before many of them left. The news media and the Palestinians tell us that Israel forced them to leave in 1948. That is not true. The Arabs who left Israel left of their own accord or at the urging of Arab governments, not at the point of Israeli guns. Those who remained in Israel were even granted Israeli citizenship.

Islamic fascination with Jerusalem is a modern invention. Jerusalem does not contain the third-most holy site for Islam. This is an age old ploy to expand Islamic influence into foreign lands. This ploy was also used in both Spain and southeastern Europe in the 1400’s. Mecca and Medina are Islam’s holy sites. Islam has a history of claiming new sacred sites whenever they want to expand their influence somewhere. Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the Koran. There is only one vague passage in the Koran book of Sura entitled “the Night Journey” which relates that in a night vision Mohammed was carried by night “from the sacred temple to the temple that is most remote, whose precinct we have blessed, that we might show him our signs….” Mohammed never even visited Jerusalem, let alone flying to heaven from there on his trusty steed. This theory, by the way, was concocted and promulgated by Arafat’s uncle, the grand Mufti of Jerusalem, an avowed Jew-hater, who we mentioned before. This whole theory of Mohammed being in Jerusalem is one of myth, fantasy and wishful thinking. But it is also Muslim justification for owning all of Jerusalem. The Jewish Talmud makes the following observation:

There is no beauty like Jerusalem, no wealth like Rome, no depravity like Arabia.

This was written in the third century AD, three hundred years before the Arabs embraced Mohammed’s Islam.

In verse 13 of Ezekiel 35, God says “you have boasted against me”. Arab leaders boast continually about how they are going to totally remove Israel, all Jews, and all Americans from the face of the earth. Let me read you a few of their boasts:

The Arab League said in 1948:

“This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre … like the Mongolian massacres …”

President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt said before the 1967 war:

“I announce from here, on behalf of the United Arab Republic people, that this time we will exterminate Israel.” But the Arabs claim that the Jews attacked them.

President Muammar Qaddafi of Libya said after the 1967 war:

“The battle with Israel must be such that, after it, Israel will cease to exist.”

Bassam Abu Sharif, a top Arafat aid said in 1986:

“The struggle with the Zionist enemy is not a struggle about Israel’s borders, but about Israel’s existence.”

Here is part of an Islamic sermon by Dr. Ahmad Abu Halbita given in 2000:

“O brother believers, the criminals, the terrorists – are the Jews, who have butchered our children, orphaned them, widowed our women and desecrated our holy places and sacred sites. [But it is the Arabs who destroy synagogues, not the Jews who destroy mosques.] They are the terrorists. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty said: ‘Fight them: Allah will torture them at your hands, and will humiliate them and will help you to overcome them, and will relieve the minds of the believers….This is the truth, O Brothers in belief. From here, Allah the almighty has called upon us not to ally with the Jews or the Christians, not to like them, not to become their partners, not to support them, and not to sign agreements with them. And he who does that, is one of them, as Allah said: ‘O you who believe, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies, for they are allies of one another. Who from among you takes them as allies will indeed be one of them….The Jews are the allies of the Christians, and the Christians are the allies of the Jews, despite the enmity that exists between them. The enmity between the Jews and the Christians is deep, but all of them are in agreement against the monotheists – against those who say, ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger, that is they are against you, O Muslims.’ Have not mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are , in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them – and those who stand by them – they are all in one trench, against the Arabs and the Muslims – because they established Israel here, in the beating heart of the Arab world, in Palestine. They created it to be the outpost of their crusaders, hanging over the necks of the monotheists, the Muslims in these lands. They wanted the Jews to be their spearhead….”

Land for peace? I don’t think so. But almost all world governments seem to think these land transfers will bring peace. Is it any wonder there are riots of venomous hatred following “sermons” such as the one we just read?

Let me read an exclusive, eyewitness account “An Eye Witness to Atrocity” by BBC photographer Mark Seager, dated Oct. 19, 2000.

“I had arrived in Ramallah at about 10:30 in the morning and was getting into a taxi on the main road to go to Nablus, where there was to be a funeral that I wanted to film, when all of a sudden there came a big crowd of Palestinians shouting and running down the hill from the police station. I got out of the car to see what was happening and saw that they were dragging something behind them. Within moments they were in front of me and , to my horror, I saw that it was a body, a man they were dragging by the feet. The lower part of his body was on fire and the upper part had been shot at, and the head beaten so badly that it was a pulp, like red jelly.

“I thought he was a soldier because I could see the remains of khaki trousers and boots. My God, I thought, they’ve killed this guy. He was dead, he must have been dead, but they were still beating him, madly, kicking his head. They were like animals. They were just a few feet in front of me and I could see everything.

“Instinctively, I reached for my camera. I was composing the picture when I was punched in the face by a Palestinian. Another Palestinian pointed right at me shouting “no picture, no picture!”, while another guy hit me in the face and said “give me your film!” I tried to get the film out but they were all grabbing me and one guy just pulled the camera off me and smashed it to the floor. I knew I had lost the chance to take the photograph that would have made me famous and I had lost my favorite lens that I’ve used all over the world, but I didn’t care. I was scared for my life.

“At the same time, the guy that looked like a soldier was being beaten and the crowd was getting angrier and angrier, shouting “Allah akbar” – God is great. They were dragging the dead man around the street like a cat toying with a mouse. It was the most horrible thing that I have ever seen and I have reported from Congo, Kosovo, many bad places. In Kosovo, I saw Serbs beating an Albanian but it wasn’t like this. There was such hatred, such unbelievable hatred and anger distorting their faces. The worst thing was that I realized the anger that they were directing at me was the same as that which they’d had toward the soldier before dragging him from the police station and killing him. Somehow I escaped and ran and ran, not knowing where I was going. I never saw the other guy they killed, the one they threw out of the window.

“I thought that I’d got to know the Palestinians well. I’ve made six trips this year and had been going to Ramallah every day for the past 16 days. I thought they were kind, hospitable people. I know they are not all like this and I’m a very forgiving person, but I’ll never forget this. It was murder of the most barbaric kind. When I think about it, I see that man’s head, all smashed. I know that I’ll have nightmares for the rest of my life.

“Afterwards, I heard even worse details like that the man’s wife was phoning his mobile to see if he was all right and them telling her that they were killing him. From what I saw, I can believe that. I love this country. I’d love nothing more than to see Israelis and Palestinians sharing an argalah or waterpipe but, after the hatred that I’ve seen in the past few days, I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. Look how many years that they’ve been talking peace – since 1993. Then within just a couple of weeks, they are at each other’s throats. It seems that it’s easier to hate than to forgive.”

The rage and hate of Esau for his brother Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, has not diminished for these thousands of years. But God promises to protect Israel from them.

In 1948, 150 million Arabs in 17 countries could not destroy 5 million Jews in one tiny country because God says He will defend them. When they boast against Israel who God has sworn to defend, they boast against God. A rather dangerous practice, wouldn’t you say?

Israel is a bastion of democracy in a host of non-democratic countries of the Middle East. For years Israel and the so-called Palestinians have been involved in a constant series of peace talks. But these peace talks are an illusion. As a comment in “Koenig’s Eye View” stated:

Principals of the Middle East Quartet met Wednesday (May 30, 2007) in Berlin and issued a statement that Israel should recognize that a Palestinian state is not a threat, but rather a source of security — this as missiles rained down on innocent Israeli citizens from the first experiment of a Palestinian state, Gaza … The Quartet called for all Palestinians to immediately renounce all acts of violence and respect the ceasefire, while at the same time it called upon Israel to exercise “restraint to ensure that its security operations avoid civilian casualties or damage to civilian infrastructure.

The Quartet statement said, “Palestinians must know that their state will be viable, and Israelis must know a future state of Palestine will be a source of security, not a threat.”

NOTE: It seems ludicrous that the Quartet principals, which included Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, could possibly make such a statement that Israel must view a future state of Palestine as a “source of security, not a threat.”

One of the early Palestinian state models, Gaza — where Israel “sanitized” the land of Jews by force — has become a launching pad for missiles raining down on innocent Israeli citizens.

There has never been a Palestinian state in the Middle East any time in history. As we said earlier, there is no Palestinian identity with the land named by the Romans as Palestine. Those that call themselves Palestinians are Idumaeans, earlier called Edomites from a land east of Israel, although Arafat, himself, was born in Egypt. The word “Palestinian” is a modern day invention to use against Israel to get the Jews out of the Middle East.

(Psa 33:16-21 NKJV) No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. {17} A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. {18} Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, {19} To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. {20} Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. {21} For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.

No, former Prime Minister Olmert could not bring himself to conduct his actions by principle, to do what was right because it is right in God’s eyes, then trust God to support him. He apparently never heard of the expression, “Right makes Might.” Instead he looked to world opinion, found little, then followed the “land for peace” advice of the United States and other countries. He sold his soul in fear of world opinion. I wonder if the United States would exchange land for peace if Mexico wanted a return of the American southwest, and the rest of the world supported it.

There are other related prophesies which we have not covered yet today. What about them? Let’s look at some.

(Zec 12:3 NKJV) “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

Who has been involved with Jerusalem? The United States, Europe, Russia, the United Nations, Egypt, Arabia, Jordan (which is another recent invention), Syria, Libya, Iraq. Are these countries destined for punishment for their involvement with Jerusalem’s fate? The capstone of Jerusalem is the Temple Mount, the area where Jews and Christians are not even allowed to pray today, the area where two previous Jewish temples stood, the first destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, the second destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The Temple Mount area currently contains two Moslem mosques.

What of the Palestinian Christians? In fact, what of the Israeli Christians? Christians in the Middle East are not unlike Christians elsewhere. Those who believe and live by the literal translation of the Bible, the Evangelicals and Christian Zionists, for instance, tend to be pro-Israeli. Some, like the Messianics, are very pro-Israeli, rejecting Palestinian claims to the land. Others, those whose loyalty is more toward the teachings of an orthodox or catholic church than to the literal teachings of the Bible, generally favor Palestinian independence. We named five of them earlier. Some of this group are extremely pro-Palestinian. Like everywhere in the world, the term “Christian” is not a clear definition. Perhaps the Messianic’s description of themselves as “believers” is more accurate. At any rate, the sermon of Dr. Ahmed Abu Halbita regarding Christians, which we read, should be very unsettling to Palestinian Christians. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. They usually ally themselves more with being Palestinian than with being Christian. In Israel there is an increasing air of acceptance of evangelical Christians by Israeli Jews. Probably the biggest objection to evangelical Christians is their zeal to proselyte Jews.

And so what do we see today? No matter what, the previous Israeli government forced Jews from God-given land. The current government struggles to hold on to all of Israel, particularly Jerusalem. Palestinians continue to confront Israelis with violence. Cities, settlements, even drivers have been fired upon even with missiles. Israelis are murdered. All-out war is waged against Israeli soldiers and civilians, but the soldiers are cautioned about return fire…for in front of the armed fighters, the Palestinians strategically place their own children in the front lines. This is the Palestinians’ own version of Molech, child sacrifice…except they pay each family compensation for the dead children, to encourage their poor constituents to keep on sending the children. Publicly, the so-called Palestinians call for the continuation and encouragement of so-called “peaceful protests.” And so do Arab Knesset members, who have sworn “loyalty” to the State of Israel but even visit Israel’s enemies to incite Israeli Arabs to violence until Palestinian statehood with Jerusalem as its capitol is achieved. Bombs may explode in Jerusalem’s markets and buses, missiles hit Israeli homes, Jews may die, but Palestinians, who have broken every cease-fire agreement they ever signed, is in favor of negotiations (accompanied by violence) and so after the funerals, it’s back to business as usual. This is particularly true of the Hamas government now ruling Gaza, who reject peace offers.

Yes, things are going to get worse in the Middle East, a lot worse, before they get better. According to Zechariah 14, Jerusalem will be divided.

(Zec 14:2 NKJV) For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Interestingly, most world leaders are encouraging the division of the city as a solution to the current impasse. All that seems to be missing is the gathering of all the nations of the world to battle against Jerusalem. Sounds like another world war, doesn’t it – World War III? Doesn’t “all the nations” include the US? The President is promising peace for the division of God’s land. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Jerusalem Post that Jewish improvements in Jerusalem impedes peace with the Arabs because it makes them angry.

Is there any good news associated with all this? Yes there is.

(verses 3-9,11 NKJV) Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. {4} And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. {5} Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You. {6} It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. {7} It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD; Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light. {8} And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. {9} And the LORD [YHVH, H3068] shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be; “The LORD is one,” [not a trinity] And His name one. . . . {11}The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited

And what will happen to the those who will fight against Jerusalem? It isn’t pretty.

(Verse 12-15) And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. [Sounds like nuclear war, doesn’t it.] {13} It shall come to pass in that day That a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; {14} Judah (The Jews) also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations Shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. {15} Such also shall be the plague On the horse and the mule, On the camel and the donkey, And on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.

After that we shall no longer be looked at askance by others who also claim to be Christians, because we keep the so-called Jewish High Days. For as verse 16 states:

(Zec 14:16-21 NKJV) . {16} And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. {17} And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. {18} If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. {19} This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. {20} In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. {21} Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

Did you catch that last sentence? “There shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” The word “Canaanite” in this verse is often translated as “merchant” but the Old Testament description of a Canaanite is one who is morally, ethically, and religiously perverted, those people that the Israelites were commanded to totally exterminate. And, as we discussed earlier in this sermon, Edomites, who today call themselves Palestinians, were among the Canaanites. It was they who fiercely opposed Moses as Israel prepared to enter the promised land thousands of years ago, and who later, in league with Moab and Ammon, both parts of modern day Jordan, threatened King Jehoshaphat and his fellow Jews. It is they who, many centuries later, God condemned through his prophet Ezekiel. You might remember that Ezekiel wrote this to end-time Israel while a captive of the Babylonians, long after the days of Moses and Jehoshaphat:

Ezek 35:11 “therefore, <as> I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among themwhen I judge you. {12} “Then you shall know that I <am> the LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’ {13} “Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard <them>.” {14} ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate. {15} “As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom; all of it! Then they shall know that I <am> the LORD.” ‘

Does verse 15 tell us that the “Palestinians” will be destroyed whether they are in Gaza or the so-called West Bank (i.e. Samaria and Judea), whether they are Fatah or Hamas? There are distinct differences. Gaza was originally populated by Philistines. Joshua occupied it as described in Joshua 15:47 and Judges 1:18. These were originally a different people than those at Mount Seir. Democratically elected Hamas, a client of Iran along with Syria and Hezbollah, wants no peace agreement with Israel, just the destruction of all Israelis. Even Egypt fears Hamas. Fatah claims to want peace with Israel but makes no effort to control terrorism. Fatah claims they only want Israel’s land. Fatah showed no contest in their recent war with Hamas over who would rule Gaza. Will Hamas now move into the so-called West Bank and displace Fatah there too? Israel would then be surrounded by terrorists. Israel and the West has poured money and arms into the West Bank to counteract Hamas and strengthen Abbas, the weak-kneed leader of the Palestinian Authority government. The U.S. had already sent Fatah millions of dollars worth of arms which Hamas grabbed for themselves. Israel removed all their troops and citizenry from Gaza but retaliates mainly against so-called Palestinian terrorism originating in the so-called West Bank. Why the difference? World opinion. Emotions, politics, bombings, alliances, and rioting run rampant among people in that area. In verse 15, God threatens “all of Edom.” Now that there are two “Palestines,” we’ll have to see how the so-called Palestinians fare, no matter what part of God-given Israel they occupy and operate from.

There will be, perhaps are, those who will consider the coming together of the armies of the entire world against Jerusalem as the end of the world. Well yes, it will be the end of the world. It will be the end of the present world. But what is important is that it is also the birth pangs of a new world. And that is the Good News.

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell

January 2, 2010

Copyright 2010, Wayne Bedwell

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