This is our fourth installment John Hagee‘s 10 Road Signs to Armageddon where he says the Jews will return home. According to Hagee, since the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and their dispersion, they were without a homeland until 1948. See “Beginning of the End,” p. 93. He then cites Jeremiah 23:7-8, to prove that the Zionist’s seizure of land from the Palestinian Arabs fulfills Bible prophecy and prepares the way for the coming of the Messiah? Here is our study for today: 10 Road Signs to Armageddon – Israel Returns to the Land Before or After the Messiah Comes?
Does Hagee have the cart before the horse? Does he have the tail wagging the dog? In other words, does the Bible promise the inheritance of the land before the Messiah comes, or after that event? Hagee writes that Zionists have a biblical imperative to redeem the land. “Many religious Israelis are motivated by a biblical imperative to redeem the land of Israel for the Jews and usher in the coming Messiah.” (Hagee, BOE, p. 18). This is backwards. It is the exact opposite of what is taught in the scriptures.
Rather, it is the coming of the Messiah that results in the “land” grant, not the other way around. The land results from the blessing of the Messiah. One cannot force the coming of the Messiah by confiscating land in order to force his appearance.
The Pledge Versus the Inheritance
The land is the inheritance, not the pledge of it. Hagee and those who make this argument have it backwards. In Ezekiel 36, God says when Israel dwelt in their own land they defiled it by their own ways and deeds. They became unclean in God’s sight. For this reason, God poured out his fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idolatry with which they defiled it. As a direct consequence, God scattered Israel among the nations, and dispersed them throughout the countries. God says, “I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.
God punished Israel according to the Law which said if they forgot him, practiced the deeds of the nations and rebelled, they would perish, (Deuteronomy 8:17-18; 28:15-68). In particular, God promised to pluck Israel from the land and “scatter” them. “And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.
Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone.” (Deuteronomy 28:63-64).
Notice that God says he would sanctify his name among Israel when “He” brought them back from the lands wherein they were scattered. “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” (36:24). See also 36:32.
In chapter 37, God says it is when David shall be king over them that they shall dwell in the land. David is the Messiah. Where is David? Where is the Messiah according to Hagee? Certainly not on the throne in Jerusalem of Palestine! Thus, the Bible teaches that Messiah must come to usher Israel’s presence into the land. How can that be when the Zionists don’t believe in the Messiah, whom Hagee understands to be Jesus Christ!
In Ephesians 1:13, God gave the Holy Spirit as the earnest, i.e. the pledge or guarantee, of the inheritance (purchased possession). That’s much like the down payment or earnest money paid for the intended purchase of a house until the balance is given at a future date. (Eph. 1:13-14). The word used for pledge is “arabon” in the Greek. In the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), it is used in Genesis 38, of Tamar who asked Judah, what would he give her for her services. He promised a young goat from the flock.
The problem was, Judah didn’t have the goat with him at the time, so she asked for a pledge (arabon), until he could deliver on his promise and give her the young goat. “So she said, Will you give me a pledge till you send it?” She wanted “consideration,” i.e. something of value until Judah could deliver. “So he asked her what she wanted, to which she said, “Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” Then he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.”(Genesis 38:16-18)
Now we can see plainly that the pledge was not the goat or the promised gift. It was an earnest of the gift. That is all she received until Judah delivered. He had to return at a later time and give her the goat. In like manner, Christ gave the Holy Spirit as a “pledge” of the inheritance (the land) until he returned to grant the land.
Thus, according to the Bible, the only possession one is entitled to before the Lord returns is the “Spirit” not the land. But, let Hagee offer the Zionist’s the “Spirit of Christ,” as the earnest of the land until the Messiah comes and they would chase him out of town! Yet that is precisely what God offered, in both Old and New Testaments. In Ezekiel 36:26 and 37:14, God gives the land after he has given the Spirit. Considering that he teaches two-thirds of them die at Christ’s alleged return, they are not too happy about it!
“I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.” (Ezk. 37:14).
They don’t get the possession (land) first, then get a pledge, but they get the pledge first, then the land. The land is the inheritance. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land.” (Matthew 5:5). This quote is from the 37th Psalm, verse 9-11 where God says those who wait on him shall inherit.
The Spirit Was Not Poured Out On Torah-Keepers
What complicates this matter even more, is that Paul taught that those who kept Torah versus the gospel, would not receive the Spirit (pledge). “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?…Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Galatians 3:2-7).
Further, the land inheritance God grants through the Spirit clearly includes the Gentiles. “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8, emp. mine) Thus, only those who received the Spirit in pledge were sons of Abraham. That excluded Torah keepers who refused the gospel of Christ!
David Prophesied that True Israel Must Wait on God
“For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Again, “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever, (v. 29). “ Finally, David says, “Wait on the Lord, and keep His way and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. “ (Psalms 37:34)
Paul describes the promised rest to which the saints expected to arrive. He uses the same language quote from Haggai 2:6, as does the Psalmist, applying it to the coming of Christ. “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.” (Hebrew 10:37) Haggai describes this “little while” as the time of the shaking of heaven and earth, Haggai 2:6-7. Christ spoke of it as the time between his going away and coming again, i.e. his Parousia, John 16:16-19.
This time of “a little while” connects the end of the heaven and earth, the coming of the Messiah in glory, and the inheritance in the land. Therefore, the land is not to be “seized” before the coming of the Messiah in glory, but is granted at the time of and by the Messiah. Remember in the parable of the vine dresser, the Jews attempted to “seize” the inheritance by murder and force prior to the coming of the Messiah. God said, when the Messiah came, he would take the inheritance, i.e. the kingdom and give it to another nation, (Matthew 21:38-43). Let him who stole, steal no longer! (Ephesians 4:28)
Hagee on The Jews Will Return Home
Hagee quotes and misapplies Jeremiah 23:7-8, claiming that the Jews must return to Palestine before the Messiah comes. “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ “but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them,’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”
Note that Israel dwells in the land after God brings them out of the exile and leads them to it. That is precisely what happened in the Exodus. They were not jettisoned to the promised land then sat there awaiting the coming of the Lord in the cloud to catch up with them. As the Psalmist said, they waited on the Lord to lead them to the land from where he had scattered them.
We have demonstrated from the Scriptures that God expelled Israel from the land for breaking his covenant, per Deuteronomy 28:15ff. We also noted that God promised that He would bring Israel back. To do that they were to await the return of the Messiah. As a promise, God offered the Holy Spirit, i.e. the “Spirit of Christ,” as a pledge of the promised inheritance. The Spirit could not and was not given to those under the Law, i.e. under Torah.
Further, when God granted the land it would be a time of peace, not of war and bloodshed. Those who seized the land in advance of the Messiah’s return were permanently “cut off” from the kingdom inheritance, only to see God give the kingdom to another nation who rendered him the fruit of righteousness in their seasons.
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