Should Christians Support Israel? Part 8
Jun 03, 2011
If an Edomite had been converted genuinely when they were absorbed into Judea (126 B.C.), he would have joined the company of "good figs" whose hearts were right with God. Any convert can give up their identity as citizens of a foreign nation and become a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
However, forcible conversion to any religion is not the same thing. One can be forced to join a nation or a religion, but when it comes to the Kingdom of God, it really is a heart matter. The Edomites who were forcibly converted to Judaism did indeed change religions, but their hearts were as violent and bloodthirsty as ever. Hence, they were among the most rabid Jews fighting against the Romans in the first century A.D.
Masada was the final Edomite holdout. It is revered today by the Israelis, who honor those Edomites as national heroes.
We have no New Testament record of any Edomite forsaking his violent ways and following Jesus Christ. If any did so, they were so few that it remained undocumented. Nonetheless, there was always such a possibility, for many of them certainly would have heard the gospel when it was preached throughout Judea.
In the first century God was separating the "figs" of Judah into good and evil figs (Jer. 24). The evil figs were perhaps in the majority, as proven by the great revolt against Rome from 66-73 A.D. These refused to submit to the divine judgment, wherein God had sold Judah and Jerusalem into the hands of Babylon. This "sale" had then been extended (by prophetic revelation to Daniel) to include the times of Persia, Greece, and Rome.
The evil figs refused to accept the verdict decreed from the Divine Court. The only way for any current "evil fig" to become a "good fig" is to make a radical break from the evil figs and to become subject to the Prince of Peace.
The violent culture of the Edomites fit well with the violent nature of the evil figs. It is described in Obadiah, Ezekiel 35 and 36, and in Isaiah 34. To understand the prophecies about Edom, one must understand who is who in Bible prophecy. The Talmud takes these prophecies to be spiritual and so the rabbis apply them to Rome and to Christianity in general--as if Edom is Christianity. The view would be laughable, if it were not so tragic.
It is a matter of plain history, recorded even by many Jewish authors, that the main bulk of Edom was absorbed into Jewry itself. Even the Jewish Encyclopedia says, "Edom is in modern Jewry" (1925 edition, Vol. 5, Page 41). There can hardly be a more well-established historical fact in all of history.
The fact is that the Israeli state is the fulfillment of the prophecies of Edom as much as the evil figs of Judah and the prophecies of Hagar-Ishmael.
The Edomite factor brings with it the ancient conflict between Jacob and Esau over the Birthright and the blessing ("dominion" or scepter). When Jacob pretended to be Esau (changed his identity) in order to trick his father into giving him the blessing, he violated the Law of God. The Law prescribes that the judgment always must fit the crime ("eye for eye").
Hence, Isaac prophesied that Jacob would have to give the dominion back to Esau at some point in history (Gen. 27:40). It took many centuries for this to be fulfilled. First, Esau's descendants were absorbed into the Jewish nation and into their religion of Judaism (126 B.C.). Then in 1948 they dressed up like Israelites, pretended to be Jacob, and tricked blind Isaac (the father of the Christians) into blessing them.
In other words, because Jacob obtained the blessing through a case of mistaken identity, so also did Esau eventually do the same to Jacob. It was an eye for an eye.
This was only possible because the Church was blind to its own identity. The rise of Dispensationalist theology in the 1800's had blinded them so they could no longer understand Paul's simple statement in Gal. 4:28, "And you, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise."
Yes, the Isaac company are the children of Sarah, the New Jerusalem (Gal. 4:26). "She is our mother." But prophetic history shows that Isaac was blind, and Isaiah makes a point that his descendants would be blind as well. Isaiah 42:19 says,
(19) Who is blind but My servant, or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, or so blind as the servant of the Lord?
Isaiah asks rhetorically, "who is blind?" The answer is obvious. The Israelites were blind. The seed of Abraham was prophesied to become "many nations." Isaac was that seed in Gen. 21:12, and in the New Testament we see this concept expanded to include all who claimed the New Jerusalem as their mother.
There was only one problem with being part of the Isaac company. Prophecy was clear that Isaac's descendants would be blind servants. There were many reasons for this, of course, but our primary focus here shows that Isaac had to be blind at the end of the age so that the Edomite faction could trick them into giving them the Birthright and Blessing in 1948. Edom dressed up as Jacob-Israel in order to induce the real inheritors (Isaac) to give them their Birthright.
Blindness was vital in order to allow this to happen. This was the divine judgment upon Jacob for his own deception in Gen. 27:15-19.
Hence, we have had to endure the violent and bloodthirsty nature of Edom that is manifested in the manner in which they treat the Palestinians today. They steal and commit murder openly, and the servants of God blindly accept it as good and righteous. They not only accept it but also support it openly. They even blame the Palestinians for not leaving soon enough. The blindness is so great that some Christians think that the Jews have a right to commit genocide against the Palestinians if they refuse to allow Israelis to steal their land.
The fact is, the Jewish leaders themselves gave Jerusalem and the entire land to Ishmael when they rejected the Mediator of the New Covenant. In putting Jerusalem under the authority of Mount Sinai in Arabia, they gave it to Hagar and Ishmael. Arabia was the inheritance of Ishmael.
So who really has the right to that land? Ishmael. Paul tells us that Hagar is Jerusalem and that the Jews of Judaism are Ishmaelites. But the Arabs and (by extension) the Islamic people are all Ishmaelites as well. The conflict over Jerusalem today is a conflict between two groups of Ishmaelites. Both are children of the flesh. But in the end, insofar as the Israeli state is actually modern Edom, it is also a struggle between Edom and Ishmael.
God will eventually judge Edom. Isaiah 34:5 says,
(5) For My sword is satiated in heaven, behold, it shall descend for judgment upon Edom, and upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction.
Where will Edom be located when this occurs? Malachi 1:4 says,
(4) Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but WE WILL RETURN and build up the ruins," thus says the Lord of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever."
Thus, Edom's Zionist aspirations were fulfilled in 1948 after thousands of years of trying to get back the Birthright and the land that they believed was rightfully theirs. Yes, they did return. They have built. But God will tear it all down after they have had time to prove their unworthiness according to the divine Law.
Let us not make the problem worse by supporting Esau's claim to the Birthright and the Birthright name, Israel.
This is the eighth part of a series titled "Should Christians Support Israel?." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones