What About Modern Israel?

Charles Cook

Rarely do I get into a discussion with someone about prophecy and end of the world things that the question of Modern Israel does not come up. "Well, what about the Middle East situation...isn't the existence of the modern state of Israel proof that Premillenialism is true...that God is about to usher in the Kingdom of God on earth as the Bible predicts?" This question only confirms that what many church-going people believe about the existence of Modern Israel is not based on Bible teachings at all, or history for that matter, but on the propaganda of Dispensationalists and Zionists. The world governments are intrigued by Modern Israel because of the influence she exerts on world economics and politics. The public at large blindly supports Zionism because media promotes it. Many religious people blindly support the doctrines of Dispensational Premillennialism simply because of what prominent Evangelicals teach.

Menachem Begin, Israeli prime minister from 1977 to 1983 is quoted as saying:

"I am very thankful for the Christian friends we have. The friendship between Christians and the Jewish people is a new phenomenon of our time. It is indeed the beginning of the redemption of Israel.

Former presidential candidate and tv evangelist Pat Robertson told syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer:

"There is regard and concern among fundamentalists for the Arabs, but it pales into insignificance compared to (our) feelings toward Jews."

There is evidence linking Evangelical preachers with plans to destroy the Islamic mosque called "Dome of the Rock" which now stands on the exact spot where the Jewish Temple is supposed to be located. Foundations and societies have been formed and funded by Premillennial advocates to support and defend those actively involved in helping rid Jerusalem of Islamic influence. One example is the JERUSALEM TEMPLE FOUNDATION headquarters in Los Angeles and there are a number of others. Most of these organizations are made up of Jewish fanatics who have no faith in Jesus as Messiah or even necessarily believe in Jehovah; they are political Zionists interested only in building a secular nation for Modern Jews. Evangelicals wanting to "help God" bring in the Millennial Kingdom foolishly back these secular ambitions. They see Modern Israel as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and believe they are doing God's work by ushering in the arrival of Jesus and His Kingdom. This is a real dichotomy! It reminds one of the Bible record of how the Pharisees and Herod, a most unlikely liaison of enemies, were brought together because of their mutual interest in getting rid of Jesus.

Here is a similar situation. Evangelical Christians with their burning desire for a Millennial Kingdom on earth are being brought together with the secular forces of Atheistic Zionism with its determination to form a godless (and perhaps communistic) society because of each other's selfish motives. How misguided the Evangelicals are in thinking that by supporting Zionism they can help God.

Zionists have persuaded Premillennialists in high government positions to go along with their war and murder, under the guise of fulfilling Bible prophecy. Modern Israel could not exist today without the support of these misguided religious people who believe God is working out His plans through Modern Israel.

For certain, the attention now being showered on Modern Israel is motivated largely by economics. Politicians keep their eyes glued on the Middle East, not because of their religious beliefs, but rather because they are practical. To most of them Israel has a glorious future because of her economics, political influence, geographical location and resources and not because they believe God has future plans for her. However, we do have congressmen in Washington D. C. who are Premillennial to the extent that every time a piece of legislation favors Modern Israel they vote for it. Especially if it involves sending arms to aid Israel. Like the society of Jesus' day, they think they can help bring in God's Kingdom on earth by force and violence (Matthew 11:12).

When those first century Jews saw the power that Jesus had over the material world, being hard-core materialists themselves, they tried to "take Him by force, to make Him a king," but He would not have it (John 6:1-15). We certainly have some of these types in power today. It is believed by many that the present session of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are more pro-Israel than any former congressional body. Even with the mood for cutting and controlling deficit spending by our government, our present legislators refused any cuts in the $4 billion economic and military aid package we gave Israel last year. It is widely known in Washington D.C. that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the official pro-Israel lobby group, is among the most powerful lobby efforts in our government and that congress listens when they speak.

But does Modern Israel's performance and economic influence among the nations prove what Premillenials claim about the imminent coming of God's Kingdom to earth? Is Modern Israel God's timepiece of prophecy? Are today's Jews the same as ancient Israel of Bible history? Are today's Israelis God's chosen people? Indeed the popularity of Premillennialism and the wide influence of Modern Israel give validity to all these questions, and to many people it all seems perfectly clear that God is at work in our world through this tiny nation.

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion announced the formation of the independent State of Israel and this event has commonly been referred to as "the rebirth of Israel." However, can one affirm that this new modern state is identical to, or does it in any major way resemble the Israel of the Old Testament?

It is true that for the first time in almost two millennia those who still call themselves Jews now have a homeland. And, it is also true that they culturally resemble God's Old Testament People in many ways. Also, credit must be given for all that they have accomplished since Ben-Gurion's announcement just over forty years ago. Though they are still a struggling nation, it is agreed that many of their achievements are indeed impressive. But the question remains, is there any concrete evidence that they are Israel of old? The news media keeps us constantly aware of Modern Israel's existence and their viability in the world, but is it true that this tiny nation is the reinstated Israel of God?

The best evidence that can be offered by Premillennial forces is the visible return of today's Jews to their homeland. The argument affirms that this could not be just coincidental, and certainly not just the workings of world politics. "It must be the hand of God at work...God is fulfilling prophecy," maintain our Premillennial friends.

All of the wars and current political unrest in the Middle East, particularly since the Six-Day War in June 1967, has given impetus to these arguments. It must be kept in mind that an important premise to the Millenarian's whole argument is that the Modern Israelis are "the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob..." and that they can "trace their continuous unity back nearly 4,000 years to Abraham." But this statement is clearly untrue!

All of the Jewish genealogies and records were destroyed by the Romans in 70 A. D. Modern Judaism is not racial, it is rather a religious and political persuasion. Those who call themselves Israelis today have no historical proof of their ancestry, they only claim to be of Jewish descent. Even if they rebuilt their temple, they would have no documentation for setting up the Levitical Priesthood to operate it. There is not one person presently alive who can prove in any way his Jewishness, not to mention proving which tribe he belongs to. Most of today's Jews came from Europe, Russia or the United States where over the centuries they have repeatedly intermarried with other nationalities. Not one of them can name his tribe or trace himself back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

To reestablish the Levitical Priesthood and the Old Testament system based on tribal genealogies would be impossible. They were destroyed by Titus and the Roman Legions back in 70 A. D. and there is no earthly way that today's Jewish people can prove their claims to ownership of Jerusalem or any part of Palestine.

After forty years of modern statehood the Israelis still hold no clear title to Jerusalem and on the very mount where their temple must be reconstructed stands a Muslim Mosque, the Rock of the Dome.

The modern state of Israel is not Old Testament Israel in its reborn form as the Millenarians would have us think. There is no Old Testament Jewish race on earth today.