Archives For Ron Cantor

To believe God has rejected Israel is to deny reality

Forgive me for the frank title, but in this instance, it is accurate. Replacement theology is the belief that the Jewish rejection of Jesus resulted in God rejecting Israel, in favor of the Church. The Church is the new Israel and the old Israel is simply cursed. All of the promises in the Old Testament to Israel are now to the Church, while the curses remain the property of the Jewish people.

This became official church doctrine by the fourth century, but was popular by the year 150 through the writing of Justin Martyr, where he referred to the Church as the “True Israel.” Shockingly, the root of this demonic doctrine began to grow a mere 19 years after the resurrection.  (Read more about that here). It is why Paul wrote such a strong caution in Romans 11, warning them of the consequences of turning against Israel.

“For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.” (Rom. 11:21-22)

In 130, Emperor Hadrian went on a demonic rampage against the Jews. They were exiled from Jerusalem, forbidden to enter under threat of death. The name was changed from Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, to honor Jupiter. Judea was renamed Palestine. He wanted to rid the land of every last vestige of Jewishness.

For the next 1,818 years, the Jews wandered the globe without a nation. Having passed through persecutions, the Inquisition, pogroms, the Crusades and ultimately, the Holocaust, indeed, one could have made a strong case that the Jewish people were cursed—that God was finished with them.

The Comeback Kid

However, we have seen so many prophecies fulfilled in the last 150 years regarding the Jews, that one must be blind, dumb or intellectually dishonest to believe that God has replaced Israel with the Church or that Israel is forever cursed.

Here we are, nearly 2,000 years later, with Israel restored and Jerusalem as her capital. You really have to disconnect yourself from modern history to still embrace replacement theology. That would mean that by massive coincidence, Israel was rebirthed in 1948, Jerusalem was restored through the miraculous victory in the Six-Day-War, millions of Jewish exiles came back to Zion just as the prophets predicted, and all this while being the most persecuted people in world history, having suffered 52 attempted genocides.

No nation has ever lost her geographical homeland for more than a short time and remained an identifiable people. Israel wandered for two millennia and survived! Only God could have done that. The very fact that these Jewish fingers can type on this keyboard is proof that God has been faithful to His promises.

The Facts

Let’s just look at a few of the dozens of prophecies regarding Israel’s restoration and see if they’ve come to pass.

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.” (Ezekiel 36:24)

Immigration of Jewish people, en masse, began in 1882. Since then, millions of Jews have made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel).

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!’ and to the south, `Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth…” (Isaiah 43:5-6, 21)

From the east, they came back from Yemen, Iran and Iraq. From the south, they returned from Egypt, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. From the west, they poured in from former Nazi-occupied Europe, Morocco, Algeria and the Americas. From the north…we will get there.

“Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” (Is. 66:8)

In one day, May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation. This year marks her 70th anniversary. Never has a “dead” nation come back to life after 2,000 years of exile.

“ This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west.  I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.’” (Zech. 7-8)

Jerusalem was restored in 1967. According to this prophecy, God would be the One who does this. I understand that some don’t like the idea of a restored Jewish Jerusalem. Certainly not the U.N. But, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’” (Is. 45:9) The answer is ‘no’, by the way.

“However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.” (Jer. 16:14-15)

In 1991, the Iron Curtain came down and over 1,000,000 Russian-speaking Jews poured into Israel from “the land of the north.”

“[After I bring you back] 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. 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.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezek. 36:25-27)

“For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4-5)

The prophets predicted that after Israel went through a long season without a government or Temple, and after God brought them back to their own country, they would have a spiritual awakening and embrace the Messiah (David was long dead and buried, but as Peter tells us in Acts 2:29ff, prophecies about David after his death refer to Yeshua.) Today, there are more Jewish believers in Jesus than ever before, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. In Israel, there are over 150 Messianic congregations and growing.

You’re Not Dumb!

Come on. These are just a few of the prophecies regarding Israel that have come to pass. I did not even mention Isaiah 35: 1, which speaks of the desert blossoming like a rose (Israel exports roses from the Negev Desert). Nor did I mention Genesis 12:3, which tells us that Israel will be a blessing to the world (you can’t use your iPhone, instant messaging or go to the doctor without encountering Israeli technology). Clearly, you can see with your own eyes that God is not finished with Israel.

Yes, in the Middle Ages it did look like much of replacement theology was right. But God cannot lie or break a promise, and for 2000 years, He watched over His word and now He is bringing the prophecies to pass.

In the Hebrew language, the number 18 means life. It was exactly 1,818 years from the time Hadrian changed the name of Jerusalem until the time of her rebirth. Coincidence? I think not.

This is a guest post from Dr. Daniel C. Juster

Politcal Suicide

About a week ago, Carl Rove spoke on Steve Bannon’s involvement in the new Michael Wolff book on Donald Trump. The book basically trashes Donald Trump’s ability and even sanity. Rove said that Bannon’s involvement reminded him of the Buddhist monks, who during the Vietnam war, would dowse themselves with gasoline and then light themselves afire. By analogy, Bannon committed political suicide. I agree with Rove. However, I believe that the response of Mohammed Abbas to Donald Trump was also political suicide and ends his future. It is as if he dowsed himself with gasoline and is now irrelevant.

One can debate the merit of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but the response of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority has been self-destructive. Such is hatred. He could have said that he strongly protests what Trump did, noted that the issue of East Jerusalem as a capital for Palestine was still on the table, and then said he would wait for the American peace proposal. But instead, his response was a total rejection of the Jewish state and speeches that condemned Israel as a colonial imposition in the Arab Muslim world with roots in the 17th century rule of Oliver Cromwell. Well he was right about one thing, and that is some Puritans, Cromwell included, hoped for the restoration of Israel.

Abbas Unites Israel’s Right and Left

His speeches since that time were full of anti-Semitic overtones. Abbas managed to unite both the left and right in Israel, and his responses have been condemned by the leaders of Labor on the left, Yesh Atid in the center, and of course, all the parties on the right. Abbas now says he will not accept the United States as the peace mediator. That is the end of the peace process since Israel will accept no one else. He has now pulled out of the peace process. The Palestinian Authority voted to unrecognized Israel, and to seek recognition of their statehood without peace.

Yet, the Palestinians by all international norms (which are being ignored by the U. N.) do not qualify as a state. They desire their status to be that of an occupied state, but they have no unified government. Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist organization. And the Palestinian authority is a corrupt kleptocracy. The Trump administration responds by cutting Palestinian aid due to their supporting terrorists in jail and families of suicide bombers with larger salaries than 90 percent of the Palestinian population. Be a terrorist, get a 20 year sentence and your family has a large income for life! Now the U. S. is defunding UNRWA of the United Nations which is an organization for Palestinian refugees who live outside of Israel east of the Green line territory of Israel. UNRWA perpetuates the refugee problem as a political weapon against Israel, and unlike any situation of refugees, does not allow resettlement and a prosperous future for those who are descendants of the refugees from the 1948 war. Wow! This has never happened in any other refugee situation. So President Trump is beginning to pull the plug on UNRWA.

Unless something drastic happens we may be seeing the end of the Palestinian authority. This will be hard for Israel since the Palestinian Authority does cooperate on significant security matters with Israel. Yet, the delusion a Palestinian peace partner is now gone.

Note from Ron: Since Madrid (91), the Palestinians have behaved in the most belligerent way, praising terror, naming schools and streets after killers and worse. Every president has tolerated it, assuming it is the nature of the Middle East. Trump will not put up with it and since he took office and has demanded it stop. They assumed he was just like the others. But then, after Abbas’ behavior this week, the president stopped $65 million in aid. No one has ever stood up to them like President Trump has. The western leaders enabled them and indulged them and now that Trump is play their game, they are throwing a temper tantrum.  

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The story of Moses could not have been written by Hollywood’s best screenwriter. We have an evil king in Pharaoh. We have an oppressed people in the Israelites. We have a baby redeemer.

The story begins with a nervous Pharaoh, trying to stymie the growth of the Israelite people. But the plan backfires.

“But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.” (Ex. 1:12)

An Ancient Hitler

Finally, Pharaoh commands the midwives to kill the Hebrew baby boys at birth. But they feared God. How can women, with such a noble calling as bringing life into this world, murder these precious babies? It only amplifies how utterly evil the modern practice of abortion is. They refuse to do it, and because they fear the God of the Israelites, He protects them and gives them families of their own.

As the population of the Israelites grew, Pharaoh came up with a more Hitler-esque idea. “Every Hebrew boy that is born, you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” (Ex. 1:22)

A family from the tribe of Levi, who already had a boy and a girl, became pregnant again. It was another boy. Jochebed, the mother, could not bear to have him killed, so she placed him in a waterproof basket and positioned him in the reeds of the Nile—I assume, to keep him from being taken by the current. It was a huge risk. But she must have felt that this was a child of destiny, even as Joseph took Yeshua as a baby to Egypt to escape Herod’s similar plan.

A Perilous Journey

The Nile River was full of dangerous predators such as the 12-foot crocodiles

The Nile crocodile is 12-feet-long and they were known to hang out on the shores. It is the longest river in the world, passing through 11 countries. The Nile perch can grow to 175 pounds and there are over 30 species of snakes, most of which are venomous. I have to wonder if her husband knew of the plan? If not, how did he react when he found out? Did he trust God or was he angry? She put the whole family at risk. There are many similarities between this couple, and Joseph and Miriam. You can only imagine that Jochebed cried out to the God of Israel for Him to preserve her baby.

And He heard her prayers. Jochebed sent her daughter, Miriam, to see what would happen with the child. Imagine it is Germany (and not Egypt) and a Jewish mother hides her baby from Hitler’s death machine. To her shock, Hitler’s daughter finds the baby! Game over, right? Well, that is exactly what happened to her.

The daughter of the bloodthirsty Pharaoh finds the baby in the reeds. Surely, she knew these babies were to be killed. All she had to do was have one of her slaves flip over the basket to join the other babies in the Nile. But God moved on her heart.

“She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.” (Ex. 2:7)

Pharaoh’s daughter: If she had only known…

Miriam, and this had to take some courage, spoke up and ask, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” (Ex. 2:7) Had Pharaoh’s daughter known, at that moment, that this baby would grow up and be the cause of her brother’s downfall, as he would be the next pharaoh, she surely would not have answered as she did. But again, God moved on her heart.

“’Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’” (Ex. 2:8-10)

Unbelievable! In the morning, Jochebed gave her baby to the Nile River. Within a few hours, Moses is back in her arms, drinking milk from her breast. He stays there for several years before he goes to live as the grandson of Pharaoh. Only God could have orchestrated this. The man he will grow up to defy is now his uncle. The rest is history.

Peter tells us that God doesn’t show favoritism. If God protected young Moses and led him into his destiny, we can trust that he will do the same for us! The Father loves you!

 

I cannot remember another time, in my lifetime, when the world was so completely unified in anger. From France to Turkey, from Hamas to Bernie—the majority of the world believes that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was, at best, a mistake and, at worst, the end of the world!

But don’t fear. This is exactly what the Bible speaks of. Parallel to the restoration of Israel is the rejection of Jerusalem from the nations (Zech. 12:2-3). And nations are irrationally angry over a Jewish Jerusalem. This is a perfect picture of Psalm 2, when the psalmist asks, “Why do the nations rage?” Well, why do they?

And why do the “kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed…”

The answer, in a word, is: Jerusalem.

We see in v. 6 that the Lord rebukes these kings and rulers saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” Zion or Tzion in Hebrew, is synonymous with Jerusalem. The kings of the earth take issue with God’s Son (verses 7 and 12) and Jerusalem.

It is interesting that the Muslim world has called for days of ragethe exact word from Psalm 2.

Restoration

And yet, I’ve seen many believers fret over President Trump’s announcement, saying it is irresponsible, racist towards Palestinians, inconsequential, a impediment to peace, etc., completely missing the spiritual significance of it. The word Zion means signpost. Jerusalem is a sign to us.

  • From the 1880s to the present, the Jewish people have been returning en masse to Israel.
  • In 1920, the League of Nations (U.N.) adopted the Balfour Declaration as international law, saying that the region of Palestine would be developed into a homeland for the Jewish people.
  • In 1947, the U.N. voted to partition the remaining 20% of Palestine (80% was given to create the new nation of Jordan) into another Arab state and a Jewish state. (The Arabs rejected it.)
  • In 1948, Israel became a nation.
  • In 1967, Jerusalem was reunified after the Six Day War and the Old City was recovered.
  • From 1984 to 2000, tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews and around one million Russian-speaking came home to Israel.
  • Fast forward to December 6th, 2017: Jerusalem is recognized by the most powerful nation on earth as Israel’s capital.

Also in the New Testament

The full restoration of Israel is prophesied not only in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament. When Yeshua was asked by His disciples after His resurrection, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), He does not rebuke them for asking a stupid question. For any student of prophets, this was the most logical question.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her … I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem … I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” (Zech. 8:2-3, 7-8)

There are dozens of passages such as this. So, of course the disciples would ask about the restoration of Israel. Yeshua responds:

“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’”

Did you see that? Many people miss it. Yeshua clearly indicates that the Father has set the time and date for Israel’s restoration. This why I have said, if President Trump is truly a type of Cyrus (to be clear, no one has ever said that Isaiah 44-45 was referring to Trump, but merely that Trump may have a Cyrus-type calling), then he will favor Zion. That is what Cyrus is known for. A Gentile head of state gets behind the restoration of Israel. And while Trump did not do this when we expected it in May, during Jerusalem’s 50-year anniversary, he has done it now.

My friend and mentor Asher Intrater paraphrases Yeshua’s response in his new book Alignment (free download here) and I think it is brilliant.

“You have asked Me to restore David’s kingdom to Israel. The prophets envisioned a much wider kingdom which would cover the whole earth (Is. 42, 49). Let’s not settle for just David’s kingdom; let’s go for the whole vision of the prophets. Let’s not set up the kingdom in Israel until we offer salvation to all the peoples of the earth. When they all have a chance to be part of the worldwide kingdom, let’s return and restore the kingdom to Israel. The kingdom will start in Israel as Isaiah said, with its capital in Jerusalem, but it will cover the whole earth.

“I will establish the kingdom government on earth when I return. For now, proclaim both personal salvation and kingdom authority, from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. In the meantime, there is no need for the nation of Israel to be here until it is time for My return and the kingdom restoration. Therefore, Israel will be scattered while the gospel goes to the Gentiles (Matt. 24:14). Then in the period before I return, the nation of Israel will be restored, so that there will be a place for Me to return and set up the capital of My kingdom.”

Manipulating Scripture

I heard a replacement theology pastor share the other day from Matthew 23, how God is not really concerned anymore with Jerusalem and, in fact, the Jewish people rejected the Messiah in Jerusalem. He quotes Yeshua:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate.” (Matt. 23:37-38)

Well, if we stop, it sure looks like Yeshua is done with those pesky Jews. That is what I call intellectual dishonesty. My dear brother was manipulating his hearers because he didn’t read the next verse.

“For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matt. 23:39)

Read differently, Yeshua was saying to the Jews of Jerusalem, “You will see me again when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The phrase in Hebrew, Blessed is he who comes is a greeting. When someone comes back to Israel from traveling, we say, “Baruch haba” or “Blessed is he who comes.” And Zechariah clearly says that the Jews of Jerusalem will welcome Him back.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech. 12:10)

Yeshua left the Mount of Olives with the angel saying, “He’s coming back the same way.” (Acts 1)  Zechariah 14 shows a restored Jerusalem being attacked by the nations, and “then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem.” (Zech. 14:3-4)

Beloved, again, Zion means signpost and each step of restoration in Israel is a sign that we are one step closer to His coming. Maranatha. Come, oh Lord!

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note: This is a rewrite of yesterday’s blog written after President Trump’s announcement. 

Wednesday President Trump recognized what has been a reality for decades: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

“Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. It is the headquarters of many government ministries.

“For decades, visiting American presidents, secretaries of State and military leaders have met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem, as I did on my trip to Israel earlier this year.”

He continued…

“However, through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have declined to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In fact, we have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital at all.

“But today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

The news reports varied from excitement to incitement. Some claim, it is prophetic, while others say it will destroy the peace process. Below are ten points based on current events and biblical prophecy that will hopefully help you process this.

1. Many people say that there is no need to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Would it matter to you if virtually every nation in the world refused to recognize Washington DC as the US Capital, but instead chose L.A., Detroit or Chicago?

2. Turkey is saying that recognizing Jerusalem is a “red line” and that if the US recognizes Jerusalem, then they will cut off ties with Israel. If they had any real courage they would cut off ties with the US, as it is the US action. Israel has claimed since January 23, 1950 that Jerusalem was our capital.

3. Hamas and other terror groups are saying Trump’s actions on Jerusalem are an atrocity. They are calling for a new intifada. Meanwhile they’ve had nothing to say about Assad using chemical weapons, ISIS murdering Muslims and Christians, 500,000 dead in Syria, 10 million refugees, the treatment of women in the Arab world, etc. There are real atrocities to be angry about—this is not one of them.

4. God predicted (or foreknew) thousands of years ago that the time Old City of Jerusalem would be the most controversial city in the world. Psalm 2 speaks of the nations raging against God over Jerusalem, saying “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

5. Zechariah 12:2-3 speaks of the nations suffering judgement for standing against Israel in the end-times:

“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling … 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.”

(The passage speaks of a specific war, where God will give Jerusalem victory, but the principle is the same: Be careful nations who mess with Jerusalem)

6. For all the outrage, people seem to forget that Jerusalem has hardly been important to the Arab world. It has never the been the capital of any Arab nation; it was only when the Jews began to return to Israel that this counterfeit zeal for Jerusalem was birthed in the Arab world. The Islamic Ottomans controlled Jerusalem for 400 years and let it become desolate.

7. On the other hand, God chose Jerusalem to be place were His house would be built (1 Chronicles 28) and it has been the capital of the Hebrew nation since King David, more than 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem (or Zion) is mentioned nearly 1,000 times in the Old Testament and ZERO times in the Quran.

8. The entire New Testament centers around Israel, and Yeshua’s finals days—his death, resurrection and birth of the early congregation—were in Jerusalem. Mohamed never visited Jerusalem; there is only a vague mention of a one-time night visit in a dream to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, which Muslims claim is Jerusalem. (Quran 17:1)
You will not find anything close to this in the Quran:

How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem, my highest joy. (137:5-6)

9. The Arab League leader said a US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be an “unjustified provocation” for Arabs. See point #3. There are so many atrocities in the Arab world and you do nothing, but this (and cartoons) is a provocation!? Really?

10. I have heard from leftwing congressmen and congresswomen and world leaders throughout the day that this will significantly hurt the peace process. WHAT PEACE PROCESS!?!? The Palestinians are forming a unity government with Hamas terrorists. They will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They teach their children to hate Jews. They name city squares, streets and schools after terrorists who blew up innocent Jewish women and children. You can’t damage something that doesn’t exist. There is no peace process.

In conclusion, for those of you who are alarmed by the news reports and reactions from around the world, take heart. We are closer than we were before. Our redemption is drawing close.

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