What Lamb & Lion Means To Me
Brian Thomas: Lamb & Lion Ministries played an involuntary role in my calling into the ministry. After accepting the Lord's call to spread the gospel, I was unsure as to what direction He would have me to go (pastor, teacher, evangelist, etc). I've always have a strong craving for Bible prophecy since my childhood and well after waiting months for the Lord's direction, I was going through my daily routine of searching for Bible prophecy articles online. I came across one from lamblion.com that I liked so much. I emailed it to my wife. Upon receiving my message, she immediately called my office and asked, "Have you ever considered becoming a web minister?" To which I replied, "I never have, but I think it is an excellent idea!" And so within a matter of days, Blessings to Israel Ministries was founded. It was through seeing Nathan's role as Web Minister that gave us the inspiration.
Congratulations on the 1,000th blog and it is my prayer that the Lord continues to use Dr. Reagan, Nathan Jones and the entire L&L staff to inspire others to claim His soon return! You all have been a tremendous blessing to me. Maranatha!
Guest Article: "Why Bless Israel?"
Why bless Israel? When God made the covenant with Abraham, He spoke the following, "I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed"( Genesis 12:3). God was not only referring to Abraham as an individual, He was also referring to Abraham's descendants, which are the Jews. Therefore, we are commanded to not only bless the physical nation of Israel in the Middle East, but to also bless all Jews throughout the world. When God made His promise to Abraham, He also made a promise to the entire world that He would bless anyone that blesses Israel.
The covenant that God made with Abraham is recorded in Genesis. God made an everlasting covenant that is unconditional in nature.
"On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: 'To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates — the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.'" (Genesis 15:18-21)
"And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you." (Genesis 17:7)
These scriptures make it clear that the land in the Middle East between the Nile and the Euphrates rivers was given to the Jews as a gift from God. This land is known in the Bible as the Promised Land.
The entire world is now coming together against Israel to pressure them into surrendering their land to the Palestinians. But the land does not belong to the Palestinians, it rightfully belongs to the Jews based on God's covenant. Therefore, we should always support Israel and oppose division of the Holy Land.
Many nations, including the United States of America, have adopted foreign policies for a two-state solution in what they believe is necessary for peace. That means dividing God's chosen nation and Holy City between the Jews and Palestinians. God sternly warned that He would bring judgment upon nations that do so, "I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land" (Joel 3:2). We must pray that the leaders of our nations turn away from this division of God's land to avoid judgment.
The Apple of God's Eye
The prophet Zechariah revealed that the physical descendants of Abraham (the entire Jewish nation) are the "apple of God's eye", "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye'" (Zechariah 2:8). This term of endearment by God is not used to describe any other nation in the world.
Zechariah goes on to provide another revelation in the same chapter, "Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you" (Zechariah 2:11). Non-Jews can find great joy in knowing that all who accept Christ will be joined with the "apple of God's eye'" The Apostle Paul stated that Gentiles who accept Christ are "grafted" spiritually into the Jewish nation and become a part of God's chosen people (Romans 11:11-36). The Apostle Paul also stated the order in which salvation comes to the world, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
A great satanic deception has invaded the Christian Church with many teaching that God's covenant with Israel no longer exists. The theory is that because Israel rejected Christ as the Messiah (Romans 9), God took His promises from the Jews and gave them to the Gentiles. It is true that God brought salvation to the Gentiles due to the stumble of the Jews, "I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles" (Romans 11:11).
The preceding scripture makes it clear that God did not cast away the Jewish nation and replace them with the Gentiles, often referred to as the Church. The Apostle Paul reveals that the Church was grafted into God's chosen people, but never replaced Israel (Romans 11:11-27).
The Jews were driven away from the Promised Land and scattered throughout the world as punishment for disobedience to God and rejection of Christ (Ezekiel 5:10). This scattering of the Jews began in 70 AD when the Romans attacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.
God stated that He would punish the Jews but not completely destroy them (Jeremiah 30:11). He also promised that He would bring the nation of Israel back into their Promised Land someday, revealed to the prophet Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones vision, "Then He said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD'" (Ezekiel 11-14). As God is always true to His word, the Jews have returned to physical Israel and the Jewish nation was officially reborn into a nation on May 14, 1948.
This is proof that the Church never replaced Israel. The teaching that all New Testament references to Israel actually mean spiritual Israel as the Church is nothing but a false doctrine. God is faithful to His people and the regathering of the Jews to the Holy Land continue even today.
Another reason that we should bless the Jewish nation of Israel is because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was brought into the world through the Jews. Jesus lived in Israel while on earth as a Jew as were 11 of His disciples.
His ancestors were of the house of Judah, also known as the Throne of King David. The scripture refers to Jesus as King of the Jews, "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him'" (Matthew 2:1-2). Jesus also spoke that He was King of the Jews, "Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, 'Are You the King of the Jews?' Jesus said to him, 'It is as you say'" (Matthew 27:11).
God's word also declares that Jesus will return to earth someday to rule and reign from Jerusalem (Zechariah 1:16, 8:3, 14:4, 14:16). He will not return to New York, London or Washington DC, but He will return to Jerusalem to sit on the throne as King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore, we should look to Israel with eagerness in anticipation of the return of our Lord.
Anyone who loves the Lord cannot truthfully love Him without loving the nation of Israel.
God's Prophetic Time-clock
The nation of Israel is God's prophetic time-clock. Jesus stated that when we see certain things happen concerning the nation of Israel, we should know His return is near.
"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near — at the doors!" (Matthew 24:32-33)
"And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)
The prophecy of the fig tree was fulfilled on May 14, 1948 when Israel once again became a nation. The times of the Gentiles in Jerusalem were fulfilled in June 1967. In that year, Israel regained control of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. The Gentiles had possessed control of Jerusalem for centuries until that date. These are just two of many Bible prophecies that center around the great nation of Israel.
The Eternal Home
The New Jerusalem will be the eternal home for all who receive salvation. We will serve a Jewish Lord and worship Him in the new Holy City. The New Jerusalem will descend from heaven (Revelation 21:2) and come down to the new earth. The city will be glorious with precious stones, streets of transparent pure gold, and gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel (Revelation 21:9-21). The city will not need the light from the sun as the glory of God Almighty (Who will dwell there) will be its illumination and Jesus Christ will live in the city (Revelation 21:22-23). We will live in perfect peace in the presence of our Lord forever and ever (Revelation 22:5). Our future eternal home will be in the New Jerusalem in Israel.
How to Bless Israel
We must remember the scripture from Genesis 12:3 in which God states He will bless those that bless Israel. There are many ways to bless God's Holy nation.
- We are instructed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you'" (Psalm 122:6). Those that pray for Jerusalem will prosper.
- Educate your church by encouraging prayer for Israel, deliver teachings on Israel, and create support groups.
- Display the Israel flag at your home, church, or ministry as a sign of support and love.
- Do not support political legislation that divides Jerusalem or Israel. Division of God's land is forbidden in Joel 3:2.
- Donate to organizations that have been created to assist Jews with returning to Israel from foreign lands. You can also donate to help Jews who are already living in Israel as many are living below poverty. There are many credible organizations that serve this purpose but diligently research them to determine what they support and believe before donating or you may contact our ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of organizations.
The Jewish people are a great and holy nation that we should bless and be grateful for. Blessing Abraham and his descendants honors the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the very Lord whom Christians claim as their God and Father of Jesus Christ. God told Abraham that all nations would be blessed because of Israel. And all have been blessed with the opportunity for eternal life that was given by the King of the Jews, Jesus Christ. It is written, "You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews" (John 4:22). The Christian Church should view Israel in the same way that God views them, as the "apple of our eyes."
We look forward to the day that our Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign from Jerusalem. Until then, we pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, blessings over the great nation of Israel, and to the only wise God, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.