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LESSON 1 ISRAEL BIBLE STUDY

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Harold Smith

All Courses are copyright and may not be used as Courses without permission. I am greatly indebted to Professor Alan Linton for his kind permission for me to copy and make an Email Bible Course out of his book. The Book can be purchased from him, Alan Linton, 18 Romney Avenue, Horfield, Bristol BS7 9TN alan.linton@care4free.net. ISRAEL in history and prophecy by Alan H. Linton, First published 2003, by Christian Year Publications. The Glebe House, Stanton Drew, Bristol, UK, BS39 4EH. ISBN 1-872734-27-8


 LESSON 1 -ISRAEL IN HISTORY AND PROPHECY  by Alan Linton

 

‘Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, Who  only does wondrous things! And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen̓  (Psalm 72:19)

 

CONTENTS

 

Foreword   

Acknowledgments.   

Author's Prologue.

 

Essay  1.                      ISRAEL — The Land and the People.

Essay  2.                      ISRAEL — Today   

Essay  3.                      ISRAEL’S Capital City - JERUSALEM

Essay  4.                      ISRAEL — What next?   

Essay  5.                      ISRAEL’S Golden Age   

Essay  6.                      Drawing Conclusions   

 

Appendix 1.    The use of ‘Israel̓ and ‘Israelites̓ in the New Testament

Appendix 2.    The Land of Israel was promised to Israel by Divine Oath

Appendix 3.    The First Five Decades of the State of Israel   References and Recommended Reading

 

Figures and Tables

Figure 1 Population Growth of Jews living in Israel.

Figure 2 A Suggested Chronology of Future Events. 69 Table 1Mass Emigrations of Jews42

Table 1 Mass Emigrations of Jews

 

FOREWORD

When I was invited to read the manuscript for this book, Israel — in history and prophecy, I knew I was in for a good read. I almost read it through in one sitting, and then twice more, much more slowly. The subject matter is a very ‘hot potato̓ and not only in religious circles. Israel in some way features in just about every newscast and daily tabloid. Much of what is said and written is done with scant knowledge of the real Israel, her history or the prophetic statements regarding her future. This knowledge is essential if we are to avoid the ‘gaff̓ so frequently given to us. Professor Alan Linton reveals a deep love and understanding for Israel and her people, but also, and this is important, a love and understanding of the Palestinian and the whole Arab world. A firm grasp of Scripture is without question the key to understanding what is happening in the Middle East today. Alan Linton certainly displays that in this book. Here is a powerful use of God’s Word, the Bible, presented in a most readable, flowing style. It deserves a wide, unbiased readership. I am convinced that it can be read with great profit, by those who, as yet, may not credit the Bible with divine inspiration. Pick it up and read it with an open mind — there will be quite a few surprises. World affairs no longer ‘happen̓ in isolation. The pivotal point can no longer be seen as London, Washington or Tokyo— but Jerusalem the capital of Israel. In what can only be described as an inexorable fashion, God’s plan and purpose for world events is unfolding on a daily basis. These events  cannot be written off as co-incidental, for they underpin the history of past millennia, and sharpen the anticipation causing us to say, ‘What next?̓ Alan Linton provides some excellent answers to that question.

 

David E. J. Oram

Former Radio Bible Teacher for Good News Broadcasting Association

 

I am deeply indebted to many sources for valued information used in compiling this book. A quotation from Montaigne sums up my appreciation: ‘I have gathered a bouquet of flowers from other men’s gardens; nought but the string is my own̓” The works listed under ‘References and Recommended Reading̓ have been particularly helpful. Most appreciated have been the writings of Lance Lambert, his quarterly taped Israel Updates and his inspiring lectures to my groups when visiting Jerusalem. I am greatly indebted to David Oram, my co-leader of a tour to Israel in 1999, for making many helpful suggestions for improving the text and for writing the Foreword, to David Herring for reading the first draft of the manuscript and offering his helpful advice, to my son and daughter-in-law, Drs. Stephen and Lorraine Linton, for their critical evaluation of the text and last, but not least, to my wife, Muriel, for carefully checking the Scripture references and quotations. My grateful thanks to all. In addition, I wish to acknowledge with sincere thanks the professional assistance of Roy Hill in preparing the manuscript for printing and subsequently supervising its publication.

 

Alan H. Linton

April 2003

 

LESSON 1: ISRAEL

 

AUTHOR’S PROLOGUE

The subject of Israel has been brought into sharp focus by the revival of the nation over the last half century. The establishment of Israel as a Sovereign State in 1948 and her amazing achievements since then, leading to her becoming a world power in her own right, is without parallel in the history of the world. This must be seen against the background of her survival and sustained Jewish identity after nearly 2000 years of being scattered across the world and suffering intense anti-Semitism. Since 1948, about one third of all Jews have emigrated to Israel from countries, which for centuries they had made their homes. How are we to interpret these events? Politicians and sociologists are seeking for an explanation but the only authoritative source of information is the Bible; ‘God’s last word on the Middle East̓, as Derek Prince describes it, (1975). The Bible provides a number of explanations for current events; two of the more significant will be considered - the first, ‘Israel’s Historic Past̓ and, secondly, ‘God’s Prophetic Programme̓; both foretell what is happening at the present time and events which will take place in the future.

 

ISRAEL’S HISTORIC PAST

The Bible teaches that God has a plan for this world and that plan revolves around the nation of Israel. He chose this nation to fulfil His purposes. The plan to save our human race from the consequences of man’s sinfulness (Genesis 3) was no afterthought with God; it was devised before the world was created (1 Peter 1:18-20). It required that God, the Son, should become man and, in a human body, die for the sin of all mankind. For this to happen, God’s Son had to enter our human race at a particular moment in history. The plan started with the divine choice of a single person - Abraham, summarized by Isaiah in his prophecy: ‘Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah, who bore you; For I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him̓ (Isaiah 51:2). From Abraham came the nation of Israel and through this people God’s plan to save the world was revealed. Why God chose this nation is one of the great divine mysteries. Moses gave no explanation but simply stated: ‘The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because He loves you̓ (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). Beyond this statement of divine election, we cannot penetrate. Centuries later, from within that nation, God chose another person of royal descent, albeit only a humble village maid - Mary - to be the earthly mother of His divine Son. Mary’s son was Jesus whom the New Testament recognized as the Messiah whose coming had been foretold down through the centuries of the Old Testament Scriptures. Yet despite all their privileges, when their Messiah arrived, the nation of Israel did not recognize Him and thirty years later rejected Him, crying: ‘Away with Him . . . Crucify Him.. . We have no king but Caesar." (John 19:15). Did the nation’s rejection of their Messiah annul the purposes of God? This question has been asked repeatedly throughout the ensuing 2000 years. Many believe the answer is ‘Yes!̓, a view which can be traced back to Justin Martyr ©. A.D. 150), one of the Church fathers, and later adopted by Irenaeus, Origen and Augustine. They interpreted the promises made to Israel allegorically and transferred them to the Church, despite the fact that this interpretation fails to do justice to the plain meaning of the text. This interpretation is held by many today and the teaching is referred to as ‘Replacement Theology̓. According to this interpretation, the ‘church̓ in the New Testament is the ‘New Israel of God̓, a term never used in the Bible. In the New Testament the terms Israel and the Israelites, used seventy-seven times (Prince, 1992, see Appendix 1), always refers to the nation of Israel or to faithful members within the Jewish nation, the true "Israel." (Romans 9:6); but never to the Church. Paul’s answer to the question, ‘Has God rejected His people?̓ is an emphatic ‘No - certainly not!̓ (Romans 11:1) and later, in the same chapter, he expands on God’s future purpose for that nation: ‘For I do not desire, brethren, that you [Romans, Gentiles] should be ignorant of this mystery [i.e. the mystery of Israel], lest you should be wise in your own opinion [ignorance leads to conceit], that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. . . For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable̓ (Romans 11:25, 29). God still plans to bless the world through that nation. In view of the clear teachings of Scripture, it is important that we watch God’s dealings with Israel at the present time.

 

GOD’S PROPHETIC PROGRAMME for ISRAEL

It is important to note that all end-time events on earth prophesied in Scripture are linked with the land of Israel or the people of Israel. Israel is, therefore, God’s prophetic clock; when Israel becomes prominent on the stage of history, we can deduce that God’s prophetic programme for the end-times is underway. About 2600 years ago the prophet Jeremiah wrote: ‘The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel”, saying: “Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, the days are coming”, says the LORD, “that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,” says the LORD, “And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (Jeremiah 30:1-3). The most important prophetic event since the nation was scattered throughout the world (the Diaspora, which occurred in part under the Roman Emperor Titus in 70 A.D. and was completed under Emperor Hadrian (132-135 A.D.) is, without doubt, the return of many Jews to Israel and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Jesus said: ‘when you see all these things [that is events concerning Israel], know that it [He - marginal reference] is near - at the doors [or gates of Jerusalem]̓ (Matthew 24:33). The events that have occurred over the last half century indicate that we are living in momentous days, perhaps the ‘last̓ of the ‘last days̓. Hence this book! The teaching of Scripture on Israel’s history, her present status and her future, is presented in a series of six essays; the subject matter is arranged roughly in chronological order. However, since each essay is complete in itself, a small amount of overlap is necessary, but this is kept to a minimum. It has been said that if we are to understand the present and the future we must understand the past. The first essay, therefore, gives an historic overview of the biblical teaching on the land of Israel and the people of Israel. This is followed by an assessment of the status of modern Israel reviewing the events of the last half century, what the nation has achieved within this comparatively short time and her present position, both nationally and internationally. Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, is closely linked with her sovereignty. The unique place that Jerusalem occupies in the purposes of God - historically and prophetically - must be understood if we are to evaluate correctly the current controversy over her status and her future. This is considered in the third essay. Today Israel stands at the crossroads and the world watches to see what will happen next, but the Bible teaches that God has a future plan for her. In the fourth essay, God’s programme for Israel is considered. It includes a time of much suffering, which will reach its climax with the second advent of the Messiah to deliver His people from world oppression and planned annihilation. Then will commence Christ’s millennial reign on earth, during which God’s ultimate purposes for Israel, promised to Abraham 4000 years ago, will be realized. This golden age, under the benevolent reign of Christ, is the subject of the fifth essay. In Essay 6, some relevant conclusions are drawn. I have visited Israel over twenty times since 1973 and have witnessed many of the changes that have occurred over the last quarter of a century. In after-dinner evening sessions, I have shared my thoughts on Israel with groups of Christian ‘pilgrims̓ which I was leading. Back in the United Kingdom, I have been invited on many occasions to speak on related topics at meetings of the Prophetic Witness Movement International, and to church groups in England and in N. Ireland. Frequently I have been encouraged to commit to writing the contents of these talks and, after a long gestation, this book has finally emerged. May the Lord be pleased to make this brief study a blessing to its readers, and result in worship of our God whose overall plan is being worked out for the nations, and especially Israel, at the present time. I consider that Scripture should speak for itself; readers need to know the scriptural basis for the comments made. Throughout these studies, Scripture is quoted frequently in extensor. Generally the New King James Version is used but, where an alternative translation is preferred, this is indicated by abbreviations; the New International Version (NIV), the Authorised or King James Version (AV), The New Testament in Modern English (JBP) and the American Standard Version (ASV). Words printed in italics are for emphasis and square brackets are used where a comment is inserted in a quotation for clarification.

 

This book is written from a Christian perspective, but I trust that it will also be of interest to a wider readership including those of non-Christian and Jewish faiths. We all share a desire to learn about and follow God and His plans more perfectly, and the place of Israel in history and in the future is relevant to those of all faiths and of none.

 


MICROSOFT WORD FORMAT OF LESSON AND TEST FOR - LESSON 1 (Click on the "Microsoft Word" word in blue to choose this option)


TEST LESSON 1: ISRAEL IN HISTORY AND PROPHECY

Place a T (True) or F (False) for your answer at the beginning or end of the question;

1. God has brought Israel back into the land after 2000+ years. True: .......... False: .........

2. The nation of Israel came from Enoch. True: .......... False: .........

3. Abraham is the key man in the plan of the ages. True: .......... False: .........

4. Replacement Theology is false. True: .......... False: .........

5. The nation accepted Jesus in His first coming. True: .......... False: .........

Fill in the blank with CAPITALS LETTERS in the spaces with the correct word/s

6. They ......... ......... - with Him ......... have no ......... but ..........

7. The ......... teaches that ......... has a ......... for this world.

8. God ......... plans to ......... the ......... through that ..........

9. Blindness in ......... has happened to ..........

10. God said, I will ......... back from ......... my people ......... and Judah


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