We are discussing in this new series of teachings, “Israel’s Prophetic Future – Rightly Dividing The Word.” If you are going to have a proper understanding of end-time prophecy, then you are going to have to understand the central role that Israel and the Jewish people play in God’s prophetic plan. Not understanding this has led to much spurious doctrine through the years. In fact, we have stated in the first two installments of this new series that are several things one will have to recognize in order to hope to have a correct eschatology (end-time doctrine). We must first,
RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENT DISPENSATIONS – “Dispensation” speaks of an economy or, “house management”. In the different dispensations of scripture we see the different manners in which God has managed His people, and how His people have related to Him through the centuries (Prior to the Cross, all of these manners have pointed forward to Calvary, after the Cross, everything points back to the Cross. The Cross therefore is the very foundation of the entirety of the plan of God for man.) Secondly, RECOGNIZE THE THREE PEOPLE GROPUPS GOD DEALS WITH – Three people groups? Yes, while the world through the years has recognized 3 or 4 major races (Caucasian, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black, and Australoid), in 1950 the United Nations opted to drop the word, “race” and instead use the term “Ethnic groups.” That being the case, a 1996 study published in the Scientific American recognized some 5,000 ethnic groups in the world today. The Word of God lists three people groups which God sees – Jews, Gentiles (Goyim, nations), and the Church. [See 1 Cor. 10:32] Every person in the world today, regardless of their skin color or heritage, are a part of one of these three people groups. While the world’s educational system is touting the virtues of multiculturalism, and racial diversity; the Holy Spirit is seeking to call men, women, and young people into a personal relationship with God through Christ Jesus. He is calling them out of the world system, into His Body, the Church.
In the Church it is the will of God (as far as need of redemption, fellowship, and position within the Church is concerned), that designations of race and gender fall away. Paul writing to the saints in Rome stated, For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [Rom. 10:12] In this passage Paul is relating the fact that there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, both are equally lost and in need of a Savior. Secondly, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. [Gal. 3:28] We also read, And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcised, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. [Col. 3:10, 11] In Christ there are no boundaries or distinction between race, ethnicity, or gender. It is in Christ, and Christ alone that true freedom and equality is found. In our last post we also stated that one must,
RECOGNIZE ISRAEL’S COVENANT RIGHT TO THE LAND – This right was indeed granted by Covenant, through a blood-sworn oath that God cut with no one other than Himself. Go back and read Genesis 15. Abram gathered the elements and implements of the sacrifice and divided the animals and positioned the birds, and drove away the predators; but it was the Lord God Jehovah Himself in the form of a flaming fire, who walked the customary “figure 8” through those pieces and through the blood and uttered the terms of the holy contract being entered into. As He did this He would have looked at those butchered animals, and the blood that filled the gully that was dug in preparing for the cutting of the Covenant and stated, “May this be done to me if I fail to keep this Covenant I am swearing today.” Think of that! God swore on His sacred honor and nature to give the land to His man Abram and his descendants through Issac and Jacob. There were no other contractors who entered into this agreement. Abram was asleep at the time. The writer of Hebrews expressed it this way, For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. [Heb. 6:13, 14] Why did God swear by Himself? Because He could swear by no greater! This makes this covenant concerning the blessing of Abraham unconditional. In other words, its fulfillment is not dependent on the faithfulness of Abram or any of his descendants, but on the faithfulness of God alone.
The land of Israel, when originally promised by God including some 300,000 square miles, belongs by Covenant to Israel and the Jewish people. It always has, and it always will. Those who are prone to think more in terms of politics and emotion might say, “That is just not fair! What about the poor Palestinians? Don’t they have some rights here? They are descendants of Abram too, are they not?” The short answer to that last question is, no. The Palestinians are not descendants of Abram. The Arab nations are, but not the Palestinians. Why? Because the Palestinians are an contrived people. That is a strong statement I fully realize. However, I believe I can back it up with historical facts. A side bar would be in order here, and I pray that you will find this information helpful.
First, it must be understood that the so-called Palestinians are the newest of all peoples on the face of the earth. They came into existence in one day by a kind of supernatural phenomena, unique in the whole story of mankind. I want to share a quote from one Walid Shoebat, former PLO terrorist. I want to make it clear that I do not agree with all of Mr. Shoebat’s teaching on eschatology. However, the following statements are very telling in gaining an understanding of the Palestinian/Israeli issue. He states,“Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”
“We did not particularly mind Jordanian rule. The teaching of the destruction of Israel was a definite part of the curriculum, but we considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then all of the sudden we were Palestinians – they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all at once we had a Palestinian flag”.“When I finally realized the lies and myths I was taught, it is my duty as a righteous person to speak out”.Keep in mind these are the words of a former PLO terrorist.
There has never been a Palestinian people, or a Palestinian culture, or a Palestinian language, or a Palestinian history. There has never been a Palestinian state, nor any Palestinian archeological find, or coinage. The present-day “Palestinians” are an Arab people, with an Arab culture, and an Arab language. They have their own Arab states from where they came about century ago to contrast the Jewish immigration. This is historical fact. They were Jordanians, and after the Six-day War in which Israel utterly defeated the coalition of nine Arab states, and took legitimate possession of Judea and Samaria, the Arab dwellers in those regions went through a kind of anthropological miracle and discovered they were Palestinians, something they did not know the day before. It stands to reason that this people having a new identity had to build themselves a history. In this case they had to steal some others history. The best way to do this so the other people would not object to having their history stolen, was to steal from victims who no longer exist. The Palestinian leaders claimed two contradictory lineages from ancient peoples who once inhabited the land of Israel – The Canaanites and the Philistines.
- THE CANAANITES:
The Canaanites are generally acknowledged as the first inhabitants of the land. They were there before the Hebrews settled there. The correct geographical name of the land of Israel is Canaan, not Palestine. The historical Canaanites can be divided into two main groups: The Northern Canaanites and the Southern Canaanites. When the Hebrews began arriving in the land they shared it but did not intermarry with the Canaanites. However, eleven of the sons of Jacob did marry Canaanite women (the other son married an Egyptian), and since then, the Israelites began to mix with the local inhabitants. After the Exodus, when the Israelites conquered the Land, there were some wars between them and the Canaanites throughout the period of the Judges, and were definitively subdued by King David.By that time, most Canaanites were married to Israelites, others voluntarily accepted Torah becoming Israelites, others joined up in the Israelite or Judahite army. Actually, the Canaanites are seldom mentioned during the Kings’ period, usually in reference to their heathen customs introduced among the Israelites, but no longer as a distinguishable people, because they were indeed assimilated into the Israelite nation. When the Assyrians overran the Kingdom of Israel, they did not leave any Canaanite aside, as they had all become Israelites by that time. The same happened when the Babylonians overthrew the Kingdom of Judah.
Therefore, the only people that can trace back a lineage to the ancient Canaanites are the Jews, not the Palestinians, as Canaanites did not exist any longer after the 8th century and they were not annihilated but assimilated into the Jewish people. What is the conclusion of the matter? The Palestinians cannot claim any descent from the ancient Canaanites, if so, why not go after the Syrian “occupied territories”, namely Lebanon? Why do they not speak the language of the ancient Canaanites, that was Hebrew? Because they are NOT Canaanites at all and never have been! The second ancient people that the Palestinians claim ancestry from is,
Interestingly, it is from the Name Philistines that the name Palestinians is taken. Actually, the ancient Philistines and modern Palestinians have something in common: both are invaders from other lands! That is precisely the meaning of their name, that is not an ethnic denomination but an adjective applied to them: Peleshet, from the verb “pelesh”, “dividers”, “penetrators” or “invaders”. The Philistines were a confederation of non-Semitic peoples coming from Crete, the Aegean Islands and Asia Minor, also known as “Sea Peoples”. The main tribes were Tzekelesh, Shardana, Akhaiusha, Danauna, Tzakara, Masa or Meshwesh, Lukki, Dardana, Tursha, Keshesh or Karkisha, Labu and Irven. The original homeland of the group that ruled the Philistine federation, namely the “Pelesati”, was the island of Crete. When the Minoic civilization collapsed, also the Minoic culture disappeared from Crete, as invaders from Greece took control of the island. These ancient Cretans arrived in Southern Canaan and were known as “Pelestim and Keretim” by Hebrews and Canaanites (that became allied to fight the invaders). Their first settlement seem to have been Gaza, whose original name was “Minoah”, a clear reference to the fallen Minoic kingdom. They also invaded Egypt and were defeated by Pharaoh Ramose III in the 12th century B.C. The Philistines were organized in city-states, being the most important the Pentapolis: Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron, and their territory was close to the Mediterranean coast, a little longer and broader than the present-day “Gaza Strip” – not the whole Judah, they never reached Hebron, Jerusalem or Jericho!
Those Sea Peoples that invaded Egypt were expelled towards other Mediterranean lands and did not evolve into any Arab people, but disappeared as distinguishable groups in Roman times. Those dwelling in Canaan were defeated by King David and reduced to insignificance, the best warriors among them were chosen as David’s bodyguard. The remaining Philistines still dwelling in Gaza were subdued by Sargon II of Assyria and after that time, they disappeared definitively from history. They are no longer mentioned since the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon.
Conclusion: there is not one single person in the world who may be able to prove Philistine lineage, yet, if Palestinians insist, they have to recognize themselves as invaders in Israel, and then they must ask Greece to return them back the Isle of Crete! The Philistines are extinct and claims to alleged links with them are utterly false as they are historically impossible to establish. In any case, claiming a Philistine heritage is idle because it cannot legitimate any land in which they were foreign occupants and not native dwellers. Philistines were not Arabs, and the only feature in common between both peoples is that in Israel they should be regarded as invaders, Philistines from the sea and Arabs from the wilderness. They do not want Jerusalem because it is their city, which is not and never has been, they simply want to take her from the Jews, to whom she has belonged for three thousand years. The Philistines wanted to take from Israelites the Holy Ark of the Covenant, modern so-called Palestinians want to take from them the Holy City of the Covenant.
What is the bottom line as it regards the Palestinians? They are not any ancient people, but claim to be. They were born in a single day, after a war that lasted six days in 1967. If they were true Canaanites, they would speak Hebrew and demand from Syria to give them back their occupied homeland in Lebanon, but they are not. If they were Philistines, they would claim back the Isle of Crete from Greece and would recognize that they have nothing to do with the Land of Israel, and would ask excuses to Israel for having stolen the Ark of the Covenant. [I am indebted to the research of the author of a document entitled, Myths, Hypotheses, and Facts – Concerning The Origin of Peoples for assistance in preparing this presentation. For more reading along this line see: http://www.imninalu.net/myths-pals.htm.]
Israel belongs to the Jews by virtue of Covenant. It was given to them for an everlasting Covenant, a blood-sworn oath from the Lord God Jehovah Himself. No government, no President, no national leader can take it from them or remove them from it without inviting upon themselves severe consequences.
I want to pick up next time looking at the role the modern State of Israel plays in the unfolding of God’s end-time plan.