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The Jewish people have been in existence for a long time. They have been misunderstood, maligned, hated, and persecuted throughout history. Even now in 2023, a full 78 years since the downfall of Nazi Germany and the liberation of Jews and others from the Nazi concentration camps, anti-Semitism and variants of it are on full and ugly display. The UK-based organization Amnesty International recently released a report essentially accusing Israel of being an apartheid state due to the ongoing issues with the so-called Palestinians. Radical Islamic nations such as Iran hate and despise Israel, desiring to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth.


There is a Palestinian-led movement called BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) which encourages people to cut off support for Israel, accusing the Jewish nation of colonizing and occupying Palestinian lands. Around the world, even in the United States, a number of people from all manner of career fields, including some politicians, have supported BDS. The Church has not been immune to anti-Semitism. By the third and fourth centuries AD a number of believers had come to hate the Jews because of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For much of its history Christianity has had an unenviable track record in dealing with the Jewish people. There has been a longstanding heretical teaching out there known as supersessionism (replacement theology), which holds that the universal Christian Church is now the true Israel of God, succeeding the ancient Israelites as God’s people.


It has been a core tenet of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant churches for most of their history, originating as far back as the days of some of the church fathers. While a number of churches have become more dispensationalist in their views since the re-emergence of Israel as a nation in 1948, and a Christian-Jewish reconciliation movement has been ongoing, replacement theology is not dead. Having said all this, when did the Jewish people come into being? What are some of the watershed events in their long history? Are they still God’s chosen people? How are we to treat the Jews? I will answer these questions in this blog.


Throughout human history, from the time that Eve and then Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, God has worked to reconcile fallen humanity to Himself. Various issues ensued: The killing of righteous Abel by his evil brother Cain, the disaster of the Watchers intermixing with humans and nearly ruining the entire human race, the arrival of more Watchers after the Flood with a repeat of this forbidden intermixing, and the Tower of Babel incident. After all this, God took a different route, deciding to call out a chosen, specific group of people to Himself.


As the rest of the world had to either be convinced by the patterns and creations of nature that there was a God or else perish in their sins (Romans 1:18-21), the Lord began to deal very specifically with a man named Abram (later renamed Abraham by the Lord Himself) who originally lived in Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 15:7), which is widely believed to have been located in what is presently southern Iraq. Here is the beginning of this call of God:


Genesis 12:1-3:  Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 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.”


There is a lot in what God was saying to Abram. True, the rest of mankind was left with but a little “light” demonstrating the existence of God, but eventually those outside of Judaism would become aware of what He showed the children of Israel. The place Abram and company was to go to was the land of Canaan, which some centuries later the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would conquer and claim as the nation of Israel.  By the time of Moses the children of Israel had been in Egypt for four hundred years (Genesis 15:13-16; Acts 7:6-7). God brought them out. After the elder generation was punished with a forty-year wandering in the wilderness due to repeated failures and unbelief (Numbers 14:26-35), the next generation went in under the leadership of Joshua and took possession of the Promised Land (Canaan).


For several centuries the children of Israel wavered between the worship of the true God and idolatry. Periodically God would raise up judges to deliver them from their enemies. The time came when Israel wanted a king like the other nations had (1 Samuel 8:1-22). For several more centuries they had kings. Over time the kingdom split into a northern part, Israel, and a southern part, Judah. Eventually both groups of Jews became so corrupted through idolatry and other sins that God led them away captive by their enemies, the northern kingdom by the Assyrians and the southern kingdom by the Babylonians. The Jews from the northern kingdom would remain scattered, and some of them would become the Samaritans. Some of the descendants of the southern kingdom of Judah would return to the land and to Jerusalem, eventually repopulating it, as the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther tell us, although it would not be until 1948 that Israel actually reappeared as a nation.


The “Palestinians” claim that Israel is illegally occupying the land and that it should be theirs instead. But upon the pages of Holy Writ, inspired by the Spirit of God, we find that this is a false claim. God always intended for the land of Israel to belong to the Hebrew people forever, regardless of whether they remained in the land or were removed. For example:


Deuteronomy 4:37-40:  And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”


That the land would remain forever as the Jews’ regardless of their status of dominion and occupation is demonstrated by the fact that over one hundred fifty years before it actually happened, Isaiah prophesied about a man named Cyrus who would allow Judah and Israel to be restored (Isaiah 44:2445:13). Cyrus would be the leader of Persia, the Medo-Persians being those who would overthrow and succeed Babylon. It was said that when Cyrus learned of this prophecy he was so moved by it that he carried it out.


Much happened in the centuries between the return of the Jews and the time of Christ which we do not have the space to detail. By the time of Christ the Roman Empire was in power, and Judaea was one of its areas of occupancy. When Jesus was here, most of the same Jewish leaders who spoke of the coming Messiah did not recognize Him as such when He was here and, in fact, worked together with the Romans to have Him crucified. Jerusalem’s rejection of their Messiah set them up for a terrible judgment (Matthew 23:3724:2). This came to pass about 40 years after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. In 70 AD, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army and the magnificent temple that had existed there was razed to the ground. This was one more in a series of watershed events in the history of the Jews: The exodus from Egypt, the establishment of the Mosaic law, the switch from theocracy to monarchy, the splitting of Israel into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the eventual captivity of both kingdoms, the return of exiles to Judaea and Jerusalem, the crucifixion of Jesus, now this. And what about afterwards?  Over the long centuries before 1948 the Jews did not always prosper. The Church turned against them. When the new religion of Islam arose, Muslims conquered the Holy Land.


Christian crusaders took back Jerusalem in 1099, only for it to be recaptured in 1187 by the renowned Muslim warrior Saladin. For a long time after, except for a brief time between 1229 and 1244, Jerusalem was under Muslim control until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. A lot happened over the course of time that we do not have the space to get into. Even in the 1800’s the idea of the Jews gaining a homeland was stirring, culminating in 1948. To date this reappearance on the scene as a nation is one of the biggest events in Israel’s history, following right on the heels of another major event, the hideous Nazi persecution of the Jews. Since God gave the Jews this land forever, it is legitimate and legal for them to be there once again in Israel. The land does not belong to the “Palestinians”!


The origin of  “Palestine” is somewhat uncertain, but the actual term “Palestine” first appeared in the writings of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in the 400’s BC as he wrote of a district of Syria which existed between Phoenicia and Egypt. After the crushing of a Jewish revolt, the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 AD, the term “Syria Palestina” was used for the name of a new Roman province when Roman Syria and Roman Judaea were merged. Moving forward to the present, those who call themselves Palestinians today are from the Middle East and, though there are some who identify as Christians, well over 90% of these people identify as Sunni Muslims. Ironically, the term “Palestine” does not appear even once in the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam. Despite that, the so-called Palestinians insist that the land Israel occupies is theirs, a claim we have disproved. So, has God disowned the children of Israel as His chosen people? Is the Church the new Israel of God? The answer to both questions is no:


Romans 11:1-2a, 5, 7-8:  I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew…Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace…What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written; “God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.”


God, in telling Abram back in Genesis 12 that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed, knew that the time would come for a new covenant (testament) to be established. It was done via Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, who Himself was a Jew. Many Jews throughout the Church Age have chosen to remain Jewish. The Church’s longstanding negative attitude towards them has not helped, and even today orthodox Jews resent Christians’ efforts to evangelize them. In fact, Christians sometimes experience persecution in Israel, not just from Muslims but also from orthodox Jews.


Regardless of all this, it is good that reconciliatory efforts have taken place between the Church and the Jewish people. God did make a new salvation covenant through Jesus Christ, binding on all of humanity, including the Jews (Romans 3:1-31; Acts 4:8-12). However, He still loves the Jews deeply. Yes, there are Jews who do get saved, such as the notable individuals Jonathan Cahn and Jonathan Bernis. God apparently aligns a lot of  important historic events according to the Jewish calendar. For more information on this subject, we recommend that you read Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Mystery of the Shemitah Updated Edition (Frontline, 2018).


During the 7-year Tribulation God will use 144,000 Messianic (saved) Jews to evangelize the world (Revelation 7:1-10). We as believers should love and treat with respect the Jewish people just as we would others. In witnessing to them, be prayerful and take care. If you begin to witness and see hostility, back off, and be encouraged by the fact that even by praying for them you are involving God in dealing with their hearts. The Church has not replaced Israel, but God wants to save the souls of His chosen people and add them to His Church, the body of Christ.


There is absolutely no place or justification for anti-Semitism, never has been, never will be. It is disgusting and evil. Millions of Jews throughout history have suffered uprooting, poverty, imprisonment, heartache, torture, and death because of it. God blesses those who bless the Jews, and curses those who harms them; this statement from Genesis 12:3 He has never annulled. Anyone who has come against the Jews has been utterly destroyed. Haman and his family were executed (Esther 7:8-10, 9:6-10). Nazi Germany was bombed to rubble and Adolf Hitler was reduced to a babbling madman who committed suicide. Do not dare come against the Jews! Resist anti-Semitism, pray for the Jewish people, be good to them, lead them to Christ if you are able, and God will bless you in return.




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