Where are the Palestinian-Arabs?
From Ezekiel 36:4-5 we can clearly see that during the period of dispersion of the Israelites throughout the world the abandoned land of Israel would become an utter desolation with dead cities and ruins and will not responded to the agricultural efforts of the usurpers.
Therefore, after touring the land of Israel in 1867, Samuel Clement known as Mark Twain wrote in his book, Innocents Abroad,
- “[It’s a] desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given wholly to weeds – a silent mournful expanse…. A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We never saw a human being on the whole route… There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”
The term used by the British Christian who propose the “aliyah – return to homeland” movement has precisely described the land of Israel in the Balfour Declaration as, “A people without a land for a land without a people.” There was nobody on that land.
Not only did the situation of the deserted land of Israel as described by Mark Twain and Balfour Declaration, serves as a prove to the corresponding biblical prophecy, it also raises a question, “Where were those Palestinian-Arabs?” They should have been there as the owner of the land – so they claim, living a peaceful and prosperous life due to the richness of the land. There is a strong possibility that the Arabs entered the land (again) after it had been cultivated by its real owner – Israel and they prospered. So, why did the land responded in the hands of the people of Israel – it’s true owner? Here is the answer.
- 21. “’But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. 9 I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, 10 and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 12 I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.” (Ezekiel 36:8-12 NIV)
The Arab nations would conduct an unending war against the Israel but Israel would survive all assaults and prosper.
As we have witnessed until now that ever since the independent day of Israel in May 14, 1948, there have been unending threats, disturbances, terrors and attacks launched by the surrounding Arab nations against Israel. Looking at the map, one will be amazed to realize that such a small nation can survive all assaults from the coalition of big nations around it. Israel did not just survive but it has also forced the enemies to retreat and took over their territories. All of these happened not because who Israel is but who the God of Israel is. The God of Israel did all of that not because of Israel but because of His Name. He said:
- 22. “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. 24 ” ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:22-28)
It is clearly revealed, again, that the return of the people of Israel to the Palestine is initiated by God of Israel Himself, Who then restated that the people of Israel will dwell on the land He gave to their forefathers and He will restore them, physically and spiritually. Since this is God’s own words then it should be realized that all the efforts to remove Israel from ‘the promise land’ will fail, no matter who the oppressors are and how strong they can be. Israel will be there forever and God will be with them!
- 23. “They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.'” (Ezekiel 37:25-28)
The main reason for Arab nations to conduct wars against Israel is the ‘land of Palestine’ of which Israel is accused to have annexed it from Palestinian-Arabs. But we have to be aware that this is not a problem of a piece of land, not even cultural or political problem. This is a strenuaous effort to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. This is a spiritual war that is much bigger than Arab-Israeli disputes. While trying to bring man down into the bondage of sin, the Devil also works hard to ruin God’s plan on man. If Israel is successfully and completely destroyed than the God’s promise to Abraham is not fulfilled and what we have heard from the beginning including Ezekiel 37:25-28 will become a cheap joke to laugh on and become an insult to God. Not just the Arab nations but the whole world will join in to launch a massive attack on Israel. This is written in the Bible and no one will be able to stop it. Now listen to the words of the prophet Zechariah.
- 24. “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)
It is so obvious here that Jerusalem will be under siege by the whole nations on earth and not just by the surrounding Arab nations. Nations will be intoxicated by the poison of hatred and desire to destroy Israel completely, but whoever shall touch Israel will be severely injured. This will be the bigest conspiracy ever between the power of darkness and his followers against God. But,.Israel will stand still for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob could never be defeated by anybody, ever. He also said:
- 25. “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of [a] Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of [b] Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush [c] and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.” (Ezekiel 38:2-6 NIV)
Notice that besides saying ‘many nations’, this rophecy also pinpoints the Persian country with a strong desire to destroy Israel – Iran. Iran is raising itself as a nuclear power nation and a leader to hardliner Muslim countries (especially Arabs). Iran has been trying to strike Israel down in many aspects such as in the area of international politics and has been openly expressed their evil intention and threat against Israel. Another interesting term mentioned in this prophecy is “Beth Togarmah from the far north”. Take a look at the map and see that the furthest northern country from Israel is Rusia. Russia has been for decades aligned itself with those Muslim countries; Arabs and Persian. They have been cooperating in many sectors like foreign politics and military. Considering this situation, we can easily conclude that the fulfillment of this Ezekiel’s prophecy has been in our front door. “This anti-Israel allies” might think that they are in control in this process, but it is always God of Israel Who controls all things; “I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws.” He also said:
26. “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:10-12 NIV)
Today, Israel is raising hing walls along its border to protect itself from enemy’s attacks, especially from Palestinian terrorists supported by Muslim nations (such as Arabs and Iran). This means there must be insecurity in Israel. In contrary, the above prophecy illustrates that the massive assault will be launched when Israel is living securely having torn down all the walls it formerly built. At that particular time, Israel will live under a false security of the antichrist covenant according to Daniel’s prophecies (9:27). Let’s talk a little bit about this antichrist.
Briefly about the antichrist.
Many people have thought that the antichrist has not yet been in this world and what they have seen so far is just some kind of its movement. Instead, the antichrist has long been present in this world (2 John 1:7) but the time for him to appear publicly has not yet arrived.
- 27. “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)
Many people have interpreted this passage and claimed that the person who prevents the antichrist to appear is the Holy Spirit that guards the church – the Body of Christ. Consequently, if the Holy Spirit is taken up then the church will be going with Him. So it’s been said that the church would not experience the great tribulation on this earth. But, if the purpose of the second coming of Jesus Christ is to take His Bride – the church, with Him and to destroy the antichrist along with its evil companions, then we must admit that the church will go trough the great tribulation on earth. As I have said before, as believers we should not be bothered by these possibilities for if we’re with Jesus, whatever will be, will be. Let’s draw our attention toward the work of the antichrist so that we may be more careful in anticipating all of its tricks and traps of falsity as follows.
- 28. “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)
One of the traps of falsity of the antichrist is to offer a fake peace to the world, and administers that between Israel and the anti-Israel group. The antichrist will appear as a false peacemaker who gives Israel the chance to rebuild its Holy Temple at the original site, where now stand the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. No one can ever imagine that all Muslims in the world will sit back and let Israel build the Temple. This will come to reality in the era of false peace due to the diplomacy and the great power of the antichrist. Because of this great authority over the earth the antichrist will become arrogant that he comes to fulfill Paul’s prophecy and the saying of Jesus that,
- 29. “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
- 30. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,'[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel….” (Matthew 24:15)
Many people will be deceived and led astray when the antichrist appears as a hero to restore and stabilize world economy, to settle political and racial conflicts, to remove ethnical differences and social classes, and to ease the rigious tensions. All of the sympathizers and worshippers will be united under the shade of a new religion – a new world religion that praises the antichrist – a deceitful messiah from the devil. But, all of these will tragically end when Jesus Christ returns to the world. The antichrist and his followers will be eliminated forever.
- 31. “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” (Revelation 19:19-21)
Before we switch our focus back to Israel, keep in mind that all of ‘the kings on earth with their big troops’ will not come ti fight Israel as they have thought and planed, but to surrender their lives. The sword of the Rider on the horse is not in His hand but in His mouth. Therefore He will not combat but speak and the enemy will be killed by His Word.