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  Middle East & Africa
Op-Ed special
Israel and The Land
Special Contribution
By Babu G. Ranganathan
Revelation of God

The best way for Israel to stop terrorist attacks in its territory is by first ceasing its occupation of all Arab land it captured in the 1967 War which, admittedly, Israel did out of self-defense. Israel was correct in defending itself.

However, the issue now is no longer so much self-defense. The problem is that Israel will not pull back to its pre-1967 borders so long as many Israelis and most evangelical Christians in America continue to believe that present day Jews have a biblical right to all of Arab territory in Palestine. For this reason a biblical examination of the issue is necessary.

As an evangelical Christian, of Indian origin, I wish to set the biblical issue in proper perspective.

Although the modern state of Israel now has every right to exist as any other nation (and all need to respect and honor this fact) this does not mean that Zionism (the belief that Jews have a biblical right to all of Palestine) is correct. And it is Zionism that is primarily fueling the building and expansion of Jewish settlements on Arab land.

From a purely biblical perspective Zionism has enormous problems. The fact is that almost none of the Jews in modern Israel today are descendants of the original Jews of Palestine thousands of years ago. Most of the Jews in Israel today are descendants of Europeans who had converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages (known as Khazar or Ashkenazi Jews).

The last time that God had promised in Scripture to bring the Jews back to their ancestral homeland was already fulfilled centuries ago when He brought them back from their Babylonian captivity. Thus, the Jews in present day modern Israel are not a fulfillment of that ancient promise.

Furthermore, God's promises concerning the land to the Jews in the Old Testament were conditional - only so long as they obeyed Him were those promises concerning the land binding.

Most evangelical Christians today are looking forward to the seven year tribulation period of Israel which would require for the Jews to be in the land. But this period had already occurred in history during 63 A.D. to 70 A.D. (seven years) when the Roman army besieged and destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. It was this destruction that Jesus said would mark the end of the age (the Jewish Age, that is).

Evangelical Christians who are dispensationalists are still seeking for an Israel that the New Testament says is the spiritual body of Christ made up of both Jew and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ and who together inherit the same promises.

The problem with most evangelical Christians today is that they interpret the Book of Revelation literally. Revelation is a book of symbolism and not to be interpreted literally. The Book itself tells us not to interpret it literally.

In the very first verse of the very first chapter we read, "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God (the Father) gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John" (Revelation 1:1, KJV). The word "signified" in the passage comes from a Greek word meaning "signs" or "symbols." Thus, Revelation was meant by Christ to be interpreted symbolically, not literally! The Book of Revelation, like the rest of the New Testament, was originally written in Greek so sometimes we must go to the Greek language to have a more precise understanding of certain words.

The modern state of Israel, now that it has been established, has every right to exist and most Palestinians now will agree to Israel's right to exist. What they do not agree with is Israel's continued occupation of the West Bank and Israel's continued building of settlements there. Most Palestinans will stop supporting terrorism if Israel simply gets out of their way (the West Bank) and that is the best way for Israel to stop the terrorism and preserve its security and peace - not to mention the security and peace of others.

For those interested in a Biblical study of the almost forgotten preterist view and interpretation of Bible prophecy concerning the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ please contact Evangelist John L. Bray at: P.O. Box 90129, Lakeland, Florida 33804. Evangelist Bray has written books, pamphlets, and numerous articles on preterism.

Also, The Preterist Archive (www.preteristarchive.com) contains much useful information of interest concerning preterism and the various preterist interpretations of Bible prophecy. Of course, please understand that by sharing these sites I am not necessarily endorsing all of the preterist interpretations and views expressed in them.

The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: bgrnathan@msn.com), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com



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The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: bgrnathan@yahoo.com), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. with concentrations in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com

 

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