IS ISRAEL A 'HOLY' LAND?
By Rev. Ted Pike
3 Apr 07
Later this month, I will debate the question of our duty to Israel
with two ardent pro-Zionist evangelicals on nationally syndicated
Christian radio. We will ask: “Does God have an unconditional
covenant with all Jews, entitling them to the land of Israel? Or
is His blessing conditioned on Jewish obedience?”
I believe Scripture emphatically teaches that God’s covenant
is with Jews who trust and obey Him. God told Abraham that because
he believed in God he would be personally blessed with the land of
Canaan, and so would his believing descendants—a posterity
who gave God the same works of faith (Gen. 17:7). Scripture says
these righteous descendants will bless the whole world (Gen. 26:4).
(See, “Bible Prophecy Made Simple” and “History
of the Jews is a Love Story Scripted by Christ”)
Paul, however, clarifies that the “seed” of Abraham
is also singular, in the person of Jesus Christ. “He does not
say, ‘And to his seeds,’ as referring to many but rather
to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.” (Gal.
3:16) It is through Christ, the “seed” of Abraham, that
the covenant’s blessing came to Gentiles (Gal. 3:14). Believing
non-Jews join the spiritual “Israel” of God (Gal. 6:16);
Paul says it is children of faith, not mere blood, who are the true “sons
of Abraham.” (Gal. 3:7) The “seed” of Abraham thus
consists of three entities: Jews in every age who give God the faith
and obedience of Abraham; Jesus Christ; and any Gentile who also
trusts and obeys God daily as Abraham did.
Are Christ-rejecting Jews the “children of Abraham?” Only
according to heredity. Spiritually, Paul says, “It is not the
children of the flesh who are children of God; but the children of
the promise (i.e. faith) who are regarded as descendants” (Rom.
9:8). God never made a covenant with unbelieving Jews. He doesn’t
have one now. They have no claim to the spiritual or territorial
promises given to faithful Abraham. Paul says they are dry withered
branches, broken off from the living root of Christ because of unbelief.
They may be grafted in through repentance, but while in rebellion
they are “enemies” of the gospel (Rom. 11:28). Paul says “they
both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, they
are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from
speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved; with the result
that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has
come upon them to the utmost” (1 Thess. 2:15). Jesus said they
are “the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and
are not, but lie…” (Rev. 3:9)
No Faith, No Land
Why can’t unbelieving Jews inherit Palestine? The land is
holy, set aside as the millennial ruling place of Jesus, true Israel’s
husband and great King. The land of Israel is part of an earthly,
spiritual and ecclesiastical structure that has its counterpart in
heaven. In fact, Canaan land, “a land that flows with milk
and honey,” corresponds to heaven and that glorious “spiritual
rest” promised in the book of Hebrews.
Scripture says that there is a heavenly city (Heb. 11:16) and temple
with what amounts to a “holy of holies,” occupied by
the high priest Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father.
Before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the heavenly pattern
was mirrored on earth. It corresponded to the holy city of Jerusalem
and the Jewish temple, containing a holy of holies. This sacred space
was meant to be inhabited only by a devout high priest who, like
Christ, was a mediator to God for the sin and errors of the Jewish
In heaven, “cherubim,” angels, elders and saints praise
the Lamb continuously. Just as this heavenly temple is inhabited
by holy beings, Israel and God’s temple on earth are meant
for people who trust and obey God, who are dedicated to praise, worship
and truth. Scripture promises that someday this will be realized;
the land of Israel will be filled with holy Jews and "Jews" who
are actually Gentile converts 1 (Ezek. 47:22).
But Jews are not sanctioned to occupy the land in unbelief. This
is clear throughout the Old Testament, where Jehovah always required
obedience from the Hebrews before they could enter the land and live
there. If she did not obey Him, Israel was warned she would be “torn
from the land” and “scattered among all peoples” (Deut.
28:63, 64). God also told the Hebrews that if they were exiled they
could never lawfully reenter the land unless they chose to “return
to the Lord your God and obey Him.” Only then would God “restore
[them] from captivity and gather [them] again from all peoples.” (Deut.
God demands obedience! He forbade Moses himself to enter the land
because of one infraction (Numb. 20:13). Only when Israel gave Him
complete, trusting obedience, as under Joshua and Caleb or later
Ezra and Nehemiah, did He allow a land symbolizing heaven’s
holiness to be reoccupied by His chosen people.
Are Zionists “The Apple of God’s Eye?”
Have Zionists given God the obedience He demands? Decades ago,
unbelieving Jews, primarily the offscouring of the Jewish Bolshevik
upheaval in Russia in 1917, descended from Eastern Europe into Palestine,
forcing out the Arab inhabitants, both Christian and Moslem. They
claimed rights of occupation as the “children of Abraham.” In
reality they were children of the devil, the Zionist wing of Bolshevism.
Violent Marxism was shared by Zionist pioneers including Golda Meir,
Begin, Shamir, and Ben Gurion. Israel became (and remains) the only
country in the Middle East to legalize the Communist party. “Kibbutzim” were
the Israeli equivalent of Soviet collectives.
Heavenly beings who dwell below God’s throne must be holy;
God wills that those who occupy the earthly counterpart must be holy,
too. The opposite happened under Zionism. Israel forced her way into
Palestine after WWI in resolute unbelief in Jesus Christ. Through
international intrigue, massive infusion of cash from prosperous
Jewry in the West, terrorism, arms supplied by Stalin, and outright
expulsion of the Arab and Christian inhabitants, Israel made herself
a nation. (See, “The
Simple Explanation for Mid-East Strife”)
She did so by violence and force, not true faith. At this moment,
Israel retains such anti-Christianity that Knesset is considering
whether to mandate a year in prison for Jews and Gentiles who evangelize
for Christ in Israel. Zionists defiled God’s holy land at every
step, a defilement that evangelicals have unconditionally blessed
for a century.
Violence Against God’s Law
Clearly, evangelicals and Zionists agree that obedience to God
is no longer necessary to occupy His holy land. How did God’s
timeless law become so totally mocked and overthrown?
It happened around the turn of the 20th century. The Jews received
deep sympathy from evangelicals because of their real or exaggerated
sufferings. They convinced evangelical leaders that obedience no
longer matters; the only issue to consider was that the Jewish people
find haven from persecution, a sanctuary in a holy land unconditionally
promised to them by God. With hardly a whisper of dissent, evangelicals
bought into this lie and have held it unflinchingly to this moment.
Unbelievably, the church turned its back on the Bible and accepted
the Zionist lie that obedience was irrelevant. This betrayal testifies
to the American church’s spiritual poverty for the last century.
It esteems material success, numbers, and respectability; but there
is a chronic dearth of deep appreciation of the truly spiritual.
Few honor the fact that holiness epitomizes God and that without
holiness no one will see Him (Heb. 12:14).
The superficial, predominantly Calvinist (once saved, always saved)
church failed to appreciate the demand for continuous trust and obedience
to Christ. If the church had realized that obedience is a requirement
for salvation, it would have known God requires the same for the
Jews to reoccupy Palestine. The church would not have abandoned the
Biblical standard to please Zionists.
Without the massive support of evangelicals, apostate Jewry would
have had to remain in the countries of their dispersion. They would
have been forced to enjoy the prosperity and protection of their
host nations (as God commanded through Jeremiah). There they would
be unable to inject a thorn of bitterness in the Middle East— a
thorn that has now festered for a century and threatens the stability
and safety of the entire world.
No Peace to the Wicked
A century ago, both evangelicals and Zionists expected peace and
safety for Jews in Palestine. Yet because Jewish reoccupation was
spiritually lawless, it did not bring such peace or freedom.
Former Pres. Jimmy Carter has said Israel’s mistreatment
of Palestinians is “abominable” and massively contributes
to the strife and terrorism ravaging the Mideast today. Israel is
not the safest place a Jew can live but the most dangerous. Most
Israelis would prefer to live in America. This state of threat and
disillusionment results from the searing violation of everything
that is sacred. Imagine the violence in heaven if a Christ-profaning
revolutionary sat down among the cherubim, angels, and elders before
the throne of God and began to blaspheme. That is exactly what has
happened in Palestine during the past century. A holy land, meant
to epitomize heaven on earth, has been profaned by 6.3 million Christ-rejecting
secular or Talmudic Jews.
This state of affairs can’t possibly
fulfill the hundreds of Old Testament prophesies of national restoration.
Why not? Because the prophets always foresaw this restoration following
From the moment Zionists entered Palestine more than a century
ago, strife in the Middle East has only escalated. Violence has been
done to God’s law in heaven and earth. The Bible is clear:
There is no peace for the wicked. There will be no peace in the Mideast
for America either, as long as we continue to fight trillion-dollar
wars to legitimize and protect a spiritually lawless, counterfeit,
1 For an overview of the astonishing role which 9th century
A.D. Gentile converts to Judaism, the “Khazars,” are
playing in God’s plan for Israel, see, “The
Khazars: Do They Destroy God’s Plan for the Jews?”
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian
/conservative watchdog organization.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this subject! Call
At video.google.com the place of Israel in God’s plan of
the ages is dramatized in three powerful video documentaries by Rev.
Ted Pike: “The Other Israel,” “Why the Mideast
Bleeds” and “Zionism and Christianity: Unholy Alliance.” Have
a video party at Google with your pastor and church members and become
acquainted with a truly biblical alternative to how we should view
Israel, Jews and Judaism!
National Prayer Network, P.O. Box 828, Clackamas,