Blessings and Curses--Part 1
Jul 08, 2008
When prophecy teachers identify nations incorrectly, they often end up maligning innocent people or nations. This, we have seen, is one of the problems with identifying Gog as the Russian people. Another problem is the modern idea that the Romans crucified Jesus. In both cases the mis-identification amounts to a false accusation, which is a violation of biblical law--that is, it is a sin (Deut. 19:16-19).
The problem is that we have long been conditioned to thinking that certain false accusations are alright. First of all, we think that patriotism in time of war makes false accusations acceptable to God, and that God will fight on our side in spite of our sin. So in each war, the ministry of propaganda puts out stories about how bad the enemy is, in order to justify ourselves. Nearly always, the stories are only partially true, because they are seeded with exaggerations and outright falsehoods.
Somehow we have lost the connection between patriotism and truth.
Secondly, it appears that anything bad that a Jew does is alright, even if it would be condemned if anyone else did it. There is a double standard of righteousness--one for Jews, another for the rest of us. Thus, we are quick to condemn human rights abuses around the world, but we overlook the abuse heaped upon the Palestinians. When the Palestinians have the nerve to fight back, we blame them for starting the conflict and think they deserve everything they get.
In America it is a mortal sin to be a white supremacist, but we see nothing wrong with Jewish supremacism. In fact, Christians preach it from their pulpits all the time. What I find most revealing is the fact that both of the major political parties pander to Zionism. They even have the gall to call the Israeli state a "democracy." It may be a Jewish democracy, but it is not a democracy for all people. In fact, the Israelis are absolutely paranoid about being outvoted by Palestinians, even though Israeli-Palestinians have only a limited voice in government.
For Christians, this double standard always seems to boil down to God's statement to Abraham in Gen. 12:3,
"And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Christians often explain this, saying that one can never oppose a Jew or expose any sin that a Jew might have done. Certainly, he cannot oppose Zionism. If he does so, he risks the curse of God. The result of this is that America has given hundreds of billions of dollars to the Jewish state in outright grants, to say nothing of the loans that will never be repaid. (We always give them the interest on their loans, so that they can repay us on our own loans.)
Yet Christians complain that America does not give the Israeli government absolutely everything that it asks for. Somehow, in spite of the fact that America gives half of all its foreign aid to the Israelis, we are apparently not giving them enough. Somehow, this puts us at risk of God's curse. I would say, "I don't understand," but unfortunately, I DO understand, because as a child, I was raised to think this way, too. It was only later that God began to deal with me on these issues, and I came to see that I was supporting and participating in sin by thinking that God condoned Jewish sin just because they were "chosen."
Frankly, I did not have a proper biblical view of the idea of "chosenness." I was raised to think that being chosen meant never having to say you're sorry. It meant that God was, in essence, unjust toward non-Jews. It meant that God Himself held a double standard and loved Jews more than He loved the world. But when I came to understand the divine law, I repented of that ungodly view, for it did not reflect the mind of God at all.
The law itself warned Israel that if they were disobedient, God would bring the curses of the law upon them. Deut. 28:15 and 16 says,
"But it shall come about, if you will not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these CURSES shall come upon you and overtake you. CURSED shall you be in the city, and CURSED shall you be in the country . . ."
This chapter, along with Leviticus 26, holds Israel accountable for sin. Being "chosen" does not mean being immune from the judgment of the law for disobedience. Nor is it a sin to believe and teach this. God is not going to curse a Bible teacher for holding Israel accountable for sin according to the law--regardless of who "Israel" is today. My only concern is to hold everyone accountable equally, for that reflects the mind of God.
The law specifically spells out the type of divine judgment that Israel would receive if they persisted in their disobedience. They would be placed under "a yoke of iron" (Deut. 28:48), which the context defines as being conquered and deported to a foreign land (vs. 63 and 64). Leviticus 26:40-42 makes it very clear that the divine judgment ("curse") would continue until such time as they acknowledged and confessed their iniquity and "hostility" (NASB) against God.
The book of Judges shows how God put Israel under a wooden yoke for their disobedience. In later times, the prophets spoke of Israel's deportation to Assyria under an iron yoke. Still later, Jeremiah speaks of Judah being conquered and deported to Babylon under an iron yoke. So when the biblical prophets spoke of divine judgment upon Israel or Judah, were they risking God's curse? Of course not. They were only informing their constituents of God's curse that would certainly come if they persisted in their disobedience.
It is one thing to curse Israel; it is another to warn them about God's curse. God will not curse anyone for speaking the truth in love. A warning is an act of love, even if it is perceived as unpatriotic (as with Jeremiah) or is called "hatred."
The second time around, Jesus warned the people of his day of soon-coming destruction at the hands of Rome. Was that an act of hatred? Many Jews seem to think so. But it was really a call to repentance in order to avoid the curse of God for disobedience. One may blame the Romans for destroying Jerusalem, but that is like blaming the Babylonians for doing the same thing 600 years earlier. The fact is, God took the credit for inducing Babylon to destroy Jerusalem, calling King Nebuchadnezzar "My servant" (Jer. 27:6). He did the same with Rome, saying that the Roman army was God's army (Matt. 22:7).
Now we are entering the third round of divine judgment. Is it a sin to warn the Israelis of impending judgment? Will God curse us for such a warning? I think not. In my view, God's curse will come upon those who remain in disobedience--and it will be extended to some degree upon those who aid and abet the Israelis in their disobedience. To be a Christian Zionist is to participate in the sin of Jewish Zionism. It is for this reason that God has blinded our current president long enough to bring a certain level of judgment upon America before opening our eyes.
America is not being judged for refusing to aid the Israelis. America is being judged for aiding the Israelis in their sin and hostility against God. Jesus Christ was the One who gave the law to Moses, for He was the Yahweh of the Old Testament. Lev. 26:40 says that Israel was to repent of its "hostility against Me." The "Me" is Jesus Christ. Until they repent of that hostility, the curse of the law will be upon them and anyone who defends them in their hostility.
For this reason, God is bringing America and the Church into judgment and accountability. It will continue until we repent and turn from our own hostility to Jesus Christ.
This is the first part of a series titled "Blessings and Curses." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones