Armageddon and an Independent Palestinian State
by Don Costello 4/29/2008 / Bible Studies
Armageddon and an Independent Palestinian State
There is much talk in the news lately about the formation of a Palestinian state. It has become a major goal of President Bush. I believe that he is making the worst mistake of his Presidency. Biblically the West Bank, as it is called today is part of the land that Almighty God covenanted with Abraham to give his descendants through Isaac. Even more important is the fact that one of the reasons Jesus Christ is coming back at Armageddon is to destroy the people trying to steal the land of Israel away from Him and Israel. Although the Golan Heights are included in that Covenant, I want to focus on the area of the West Bank because that is the area the whole world is trying to make an independent Palestinian state.
A crucial element of this debate for the Bible believing Christian is that the West Bank as it is known today is referred to in Scripture as "Judea" and "Samaria" or "the mountains of Israel". In 1999, the magazine "Christians for Israel" published an article documenting this entitled, "The Mountains of Israel", by Karel van Oordt and Pee Koelewijn. There is also a book entitled, "The Mountains of Israel" by Norma Archbold that refers to this.
According to scripture, from the time when Lot and Abraham separated until after God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham lived on the plain of Mamre, which is present day Hebron in the West Bank. The events of Genesis 15 of the cutting of the covenant and the giving of the land occurred at that very place. In these scriptures we see the elements of the ancient Middle Eastern covenant. In Genesis 15:9, the animals are chosen, in verse 10 they are divided and laind against one another and in verses 17 and 18 the participants pass through the divided animals. The purpose for this according to Unger's Bible Dictionary was to confirm the covenant, "by slaughtering and cutting the victim into halves, between which the parties passed, to intimate that if either of them broke the covenant it would fare with him as with the slain and divided beast." The element not mentioned in the Genesis passage but most definitely took place at the time of the oath in Ezekiel 47:14 (NIV) where God, "swore with an uplifted hand", to give the land to Israel. We get that impression from Jeremiah 34:14, which says the LORD will punish those, "which have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof." The picture we see when all these elements are included is when the LORD was passing through those pieces, He was swearing with an uplifted hand He was going to give Israel the land.
According to Isaiah 62:4, God is married to Israel and the land. The New American Standard Version says, "It well no longer be said to you ""Forsaken"" Nor to your land will it any longer be said, ""Desolate""; But you will be called, ""My delight is in her,"" and your land, ""Married."" It is no wonder then that the first three verses of Ezekiel 36, which deals with the mountains of Israel, i.e. the West Bank, are laced with a very stern warning from God in the spirit of a jealous husband. Ezekiel 36:5 says the LORD is speaking, "in the fire of my jealouslyagainst the rest of the nationswho appropriated my land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and scorn of soul." The LORD God in Jeremiah 12:14 (NIV) calls those nations "wicked neighbors" who would "seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel."
All these world leaders want to take th4e West Bank, the "mountains of Israel", and give it to the Palestinian people. This is the land that Almighty God swore with an uplifted hand to give to the Jewish people. The world is demanding and applauding this attempt of a Palestinian state. All the while, unbeknownst to them, a jealous husband watches while his bride is being defiled, and the emotion of rage is building in Him. It is a clear truth in Scripture that one of the reasons Armageddon will occur is the LORD responding to the world's attempt to steal Israel's land from Him. Confirmation of this is Joel 3:2. "I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosophat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
This information has caused me to look at Armageddon in a totally different light. There has never been anything approaching the amount of blood letting that will occur during this battle. In Revelation 14:20 it says, "And the winepress was trodden without the city, and the blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." Harper's Bible Dictionary says a Biblical furlong is 1/10 of a mile, hence 160 miles. The New American Standard Version gives 200 miles as the distance. Saints,that is a lot of blood. It is a river of blood 5 or 6 feet deep and anywhere between 160 and 200 miles long.
Though these figures sound incredible, a passage in Zechariah 14:12 encourages me to believe it to be literal. "And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem, there flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth." The Hebrew word for "consume" is 'naqaq' and it means "to melt, to flow, to consume away, to dissolve". There will be hundreds of millions of soldiers gathered for battle against Jerusalem. The multitude will be so great it appears to stretch from Megiddo almost 60 miles to the north, down to Jerusalem. How much blood would there be if the flesh and blood of all those soldiers melted off their bones?
A verse giving a look at the emotion behind this judgment is Isaiah 63:3, where the wine press is again mentioned. "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment." What is so striking about this passage is the anger and zeal with which the LORD performs His work. He stomps the grapes or people with anger and zeal so fierce, the juice or blood completely stains his garment. He is angry because of His jealously. Zephaniah 3:8 quotes the LORD saying, "for my determination is to gather the nations that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealously." And He is jealous because the heathen are stealing His land. "Surely in the fire of my jealously have I spoken against the heathen, which have appropriated my land into their possessionEzekiel 36:5.
Saints, these scriptures should encourage Bible believing Christians to shun the idea of an independent Palestinian state. We have all seen the image of an enraged jealous husband in print or video. Because the governments of the world continue to take Israel's land from God, whether it be the West Bank or the Golan Heights, they are going to see an enraged, jealous God.
"For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore
He will not spare in the day of vengeance."
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.