About Jesus - Steve Sweetman

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Eretz Israel


"Eretz Israel" has been the rallying cry of many Jews seeking a state of their own over the years.  It means "the land of Israel."  This rallying cry has echoed around the world, partly due to God's promise to Abraham that his descendents would be a great nation, possessing a specific portion of land in the Middle East (Genesis 12:1 - 3, 15:18).  These promises, known as the Abrahamic Covenant, have yet to be fully realized, but, as the vision of Ezekiel 37:1 to 14 predicts, "eretz Israel" will become, and is becoming, a reality. 


In this vision Ezekiel saw a valley of dead bones coming to life to form a great nation.  During the height of the Charismatic Movement of the 1960's and 1970's I consistently heard these dead bones referred to as the church.  Many in the movement believed they would help facilitate the dead bones of the church coming back to life.  The Biblical fact, however, is that Ezekiel 37:11 specifically states that these dead bones coming to life are the people of Israel, not the church. 


Romans 11:29 tells us that God cannot revoke or default on a promise.  I also believe that God does not reinterpret a promise to mean something different than what was originally intended to mean, as Replacement Theology teaches concerning Israel.  For this reason Israel is in the process of coming alive into nationhood as Ezekiel 37 and other passages predict. 


The future success of Israel doesn't depend on
Israel.  Israel will succeed because of God's integrity.  He will not allow His good name to be defamed because He has broken a promise (Ezekiel 36:22 and 1 Samuel 12:22).  If God defaults on one promise, can we trust Him not to default on another promise, like the promise of your salvation?  Be assured, God will keep His promise of salvation.  He will also keep His promise to Abraham as Abraham would have understood it.  


The restoration of the Jews and their nation to greatness is not the end of the matter.  Ezekiel 37:23 says that Israel will eventually be God's people and the Lord will be its God.  The ultimate fulfillment of Ezekiel's vision is the restoration of the Jews to their God and God to the Jews in the land of Israel.    


Ezekiel 37:24 states that God's servant David, who Christians understand to be the Lord Jesus Christ, will rule over the nation of Israel.  Psalm 132:11 says that God swore an oath to David that one of his descendents would sit on his throne, an oath He will not revoke.  That descendent is Jesus.  Isaiah 66:8 predicts a nation would be born in one day.  Like many, I believe that refers to Israel becoming a nation on May 14, 1948.  Isaiah 11:10 states that Israel would be restored a second time.  The first time was when God freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity.  2 Chronicles 6:6 and 1 Kings 11:36 says that God has chosen Jerusalem for Himself.  Some day the most contested city on earth will no longer be contested.  Amos 9:15 states that once the Lord replants Jews in their land they will never be uprooted.  God has been replanting Jews in their land for the last 150 years.  God will not default on these and other promises.  He will defend His good name in eretz Israel until all is fulfilled.  Believe me; Israel still has significance, both in the mind of God and in prophetic history.                              



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