Israel in the Consummation of History
June 11th, 1967 @ 8:15 AM
ISRAEL IN THE CONSUMMATION OF HISTORY
Dr. W. A. Criswell
6-11-67 8:15 a.m.
On the radio you are sharing the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the morning message, not as it is announced and printed here in the program. The title of the message is Israel in the Consummation of History, and it is a sermon out of God’s Book delivered because of the striking and awe-inspiring events that have occurred these last few days and are continuing in Palestine and in the Middle East. In the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Luke, verse 24, "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" [Luke 21:24].
We are living in one of the most critical and significant of all of the ages in human history. We are approaching some kind of a denouement. God is moving. God is taking a hand in human events. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" [Luke 21:24].
In May 1948, a part of Jerusalem was taken away from the Gentiles and was possessed by Israel. As I stand here this moment, all of Jerusalem lies in the hands of Israel. Whether it will become an international city governed by all the peoples of the world or whether it will remain in the hands of Israel is yet to be decided. But "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" [Luke 21:24]. If it remains in the hands of Israel, we have come, according to God’s Word, to the end of an age.
In preaching through the Revelation, there was so much of this denouement in history that was increasingly apparent to me. For example and I mean by that, such a thing as the Philadelphian age of the church which is the sixth age [Revelation 3:7-13] and the Laodicean age of the church which is the seventh and the last age [Revelation 3:14-22]. In the Philadelphian Age of the church, the open door is before God’s people. And even when I was a youth, the open door for God’s people was throughout the earth. You could preach the gospel in China; you could preach the gospel in Russia; you could preach the gospel in Czechoslovakia; in Bulgaria; in Albania anywhere in the earth there was an open door. The Philadelphian age of the church, the church of the open door [Revelation 3:7-13].
But I have lived to see in my lifetime, these doors closed one after another. Vast, vast sections of the earth are closed to the missionary, and they are increasingly closed. Apparently, we are coming to the end of an era and the beginning of the final denouement, consummation, outworking of the age [Revelation 3:14-22].
In that background, there are several things to be said about Israel, things that God hath written in His Book, things that God has said through the centuries and now through thousands of years. These things are all significant and all important, and they lie in the hands of Almighty God.
First: God says, not one time, God says many times that the consummation of the age will find its denouement in Palestine. The issues of government and of the world will be settled finally and ultimately in Palestine, in those little tiny countries; and especially, as I shall speak later on, around the tiny state of Israel [Zechariah 14:1-2]. Is not that an astonishing revelation from God? As God says, the world shall move and history shall move toward a final and ultimate dictator [Revelation 13:2]. There shall be at the end time, says God, ten great kingdoms, and these shall give their authority and power to a final dictator, as the world moves toward some kind of a world government [Revelation 13:5, 7], as God says, as the world moves toward one religion, a world religion [Revelation 13:8, 14-15]. All of these things you are seeing daily if you read a newspaper, if you read a magazine. It’s like reading God’s Book and the fulfillment of prophecy. As God says, all history moves toward a world religion.
So God also says that the issues of life, and of time, and of nation, and of destiny are to be settled in Palestine [Revelation 17:15-18]. Now, you may have wars in Asia, and you may have wars in Africa, and you may have conflicts in Europe, but God says the great and final denouement is in Palestine [Revelation 16:14-16]. And to my amazement, to my amazement there’s no headline in the world today that even mentions our war in Asia. We are not at war in Palestine; we are at war in Asia. But the Asian war and Vietnam is on the second page, the third page, the back page, and the headlines of the whole world and the involvement of the United States of America is in Palestine. God says that! The issues and the final destiny of time and history will be settled there, God says. God says it! [Zechariah 14:1-2].
In the nineteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation is a description, and I must hasten, I haven’t time but to point these things out. In the nineteenth chapter of the Revelation is the story of the battle of Armageddon. It is at the battle of Armageddon that Jesus the Lord intervenes in human history, that He comes with His saints [Revelation 19:14]. Now, how is it? How is it that in that tiny country and in the Middle East, all of the armies and navies and air forces of the world are gathered together? The answer is very plain, God wrote it and revealed it in the sixteenth chapter of the Revelation:
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon –
the devil –
and out of the mouth of the beast –
the final dictator –
and out of the mouth of the false prophet –
the head of world religion –
They are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty,
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.
How is it that these nations are gathered there in Armageddon? One of those great powers, the king of the east, according to the ninth chapter of the Book of The Revelation, comes with two hundred million men [Revelation 9:16]. How is it that all of these armies and nations are gathered together in Palestine and in the Middle East? They are seduced and they are deceived by the working of the powers of darkness. And it would take but a spark now to turn to the Middle East all of the forces of Russia and the communist world, and all of the forces of the United States and the free world. This is according to what God has revealed in His Book. God says the great and ultimate decisions of humanity and of time and of history will be settled in Palestine, in the Middle East [Zechariah 14:1-2].
Second: God says the denouement of history revolves around the Jew [Revelation 6:17, 7:3-4]. There are not enough Jews in the whole world to equal a part of the population of Texas. There are not enough Jews in the world to equal possibly half of the population of our state. An infinitesimal minority, according to the three billion, five hundred million populations of this globe: yet God says that the denouement and the consummation of history revolve around the Jew. And wherever he is involved, there you find all history turning. God says it.
First: God says that he will be here when the end comes; the Jew will be here. In the great apocalyptic discourse in Matthew 24:34 our Lord says "Verily I say unto you, This race, this genus, this kind," translates the King James Version generation, "Verily I say unto you, This race, the Jew, shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled." All of those ancient peoples have disappeared. You never saw a Hittite, or a Girgashite, or an Amorite, or any of the other of those ancient peoples, but the Jew is still here, and God says he’ll be here till the time of the end.
Second: by an unconditional covenant, an unconditional covenant, God promised the land to the Jew. I haven’t time to follow through those covenants God made with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the Book of Genesis. I read from a psalm in the Book of Psalms 105:
God hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.
Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac;
And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.
Over the radio I heard an Arab representative say that the covenant was made to Abraham and to his seed, and that Ishmael is the seed of Abraham also. God never said that. Never! God said the covenant to a thousand generations and the oath that shall abide forever "have I made with Abraham, and with Isaac, and with Israel" [Psalm 105:9-10]. God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and to their seed forever the land of Palestine. By covenant promise it belongs to them.
Third: first I said God said the Jew will be here until the end [Matthew 24:34]. Second, God says that the land belongs to them by covenant and unconditional promise; God gave the land to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob forever [Psalm 105:8-11]. Third: God said that the Jew will return to Palestine, to the Promised Land, in unbelief [Ezekiel 36:24-28].
I haven’t time but to just cite one passage out of a multitude, one passage. And we are living to see this Scripture fulfilled, the Jew turning to Palestine. For almost two thousand years there were no Jews in Palestine, but God said he will go back. The Jew was scattered among the nations of the earth. The Jew was buried among the peoples of the globe. But God said he will go back to Palestine. He will return, and he will return in unbelief. I cite one passage in the thirty-sixth chapter of Ezekiel, verses 24 and 25, "I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land" [Ezekiel 36:24]. Then, after the Jew has returned to Palestine, after he has gone back home:
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart will I give you,
Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Israel is going to return to the land in unbelief, and then you are going to have that description that I shall speak of at the end of this message. Then you are going to have that new relationship with God. We are looking with our eyes and have been these last several years: the return of the Jew to Palestine according to the Word of God.
Fourth and last in this part of the message: he will rebuild the temple and reinstitute those Mosaic legislations and sacrifices [Ezekiel 37:26-28, 44:10-11]. I may also live to see that. But God says that the Jew will rebuild that temple and that they will reinstitute those ancient Levitical sacrifices. Right this minute, over Mount Moriah and the sacred holy place of the temple, there is the Mosque of Omar, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock. I may live to see the time when every piece of that Mosque of Omar is thrown down and the stones hauled away as being pagan and heathen and unclean. And on the top of that Mount Moriah there will be erected, according to the Word of God, the temple of the Jews.
It is in the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel, verse 27 that says that in the midst of the week – this final week, this final seven years – in the midst of the week, this final dictator will break his covenant with Israel and will cause the sacrifices and the oblations to cease [Daniel 9:27].
There is going to be built a temple by the Jews where Solomon erected his temple, and the Levitical sacrifices are going to be reinstituted [Ezekiel 44:11]. That is why, when I see on television, and when I see pictures in the paper of that old rabbi blowing the shofar, the ram’s horn, as they approach the wailing wall – the only part of Solomon’s temple that remains – and they pray and they praise and they weep before a pile of stones, to us, it is amazing! According to God and His chosen people, it is a part of the ultimate and divine plan.
Wherever in this world you see a Jew of any kind or description, there is something in him that vibrates like the chords, like the strings in a harp when you pluck them. There is something in him that vibrates when you speak about Israel and Palestine and the Holy Land. Zionism is that part of Judaism that longs for, believes, and has built a nation in Canaan; the other part of Judaism disassociates itself from Zionism, the building of an Israeli state. But whether he a Zionist or whether he is a not a Zionist, if he is a Jew there is something on the inside of him that vibrates when you speak of Jerusalem and the holy land of Palestine. And I don’t think he can help it. I think God put it in him.
When I was in Panama, I walked into a dry goods store where he sold piece goods; it was run by a Jew. Previously to my visit in Panama, I had been in the Holy Land, and I had seen them turn that desert into a garden. And as I talked to the Jewish proprietor of that dry goods store in Panama, I began to describe to him what I had seen in Israel. And as I talked to that Jew in Panama of the Holy Land and of Canaan, the tears fell off of his face unashamedly – just listening as I talked, what God was doing in Palestine. When I was last week in Miami Beach, one of the businessmen there took me to a famous Jewish restaurant and the proprietor – an old man, not a Zionist – found that I was there. He came and sat down at the table and began to talk to me, and I began to talk to him about Palestine and what Israel was doing in the Holy Land. You should have seen his face! If he is a Jew, his heart, his hand, his abilities are dedicated toward the building up of the state of Israel. God says it. He shall inherit that land," God says [Psalm 105:8-11].
Third and we must hasten. Third – main outline: the first was, the denouement of human history is there in Palestine, not in Asia, Africa, or Europe, or America, it is there [Zechariah 14:1-2]. The second great point I have made: God says that the Jew is going back and that the land by covenant belongs to him [Genesis 15:18]. Third: God says the undying and implacable enemy of Israel is Russia. God speaks of that again and again. The great enemy of Israel is Russia from the North. Incidentally, the enemy of Israel may be Egypt from the South. Incidentally, the enemy of Israel may be Arabia from the East. God says the great enemy of Israel is Russia. And here again, I have but an opportunity to point out a passage and that’s all, Ezekiel 38 and 39.
The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of Man, set thy face against Gog, the name of a great prince, the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, of Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, of Meshech, and Tubal.
Who are these people? They are easily identified, for the names are not used just here; they are used in many other places. The land of Magog is the land all of that country north of the Black and the Caspian Sea. They used to call it the land of the Scythians. Now you call it the land of the Soviet Union. The prince of Rosh, that is Russia. Meshech, that is Moscow. Tubal, that is Toblosk. The ancient and modern cities of Moscow and Toblosk.
Who is back of Nasser and the socialist government of Syria? Who is egging them on to war? Who gave them arms and who now is fearfully in venom and vituperation and invective, denouncing the United States and denouncing Israel? Who is it doing? Russia – death, on the wrong horse! Excuse me. Goodness! I am in a church service. Russia put over a billion dollars in planes and tanks in the hands of Nasser who is a puppet of Russia. And Russia poured millions of dollars into the Soviet government, the communist socialist government of Syria. Russia stirs it up, stirs it up, stirs it up. And Russia will continue to do that. Anytime we think we can build a lasting friendship with Russia we are denying the Word, plain, of Almighty God. The enemy, God says, of Israel and the people of the Lord is Russia. And God says Russia will be destroyed [Ezekiel 38-39]. What a sadness. When you look at those people, they are like; they are like pigs led to the slaughter, led to the shambles, led to the butcher shop. Ah! the tragedy of being led by men.
And these present men who rule Russia are men who surrounded Stalin, and they butchered and destroyed their own people by the millions and the millions. And they would have no qualm of conscience at all to destroy the millions and millions of the populations and nations of this present world. Anytime they think they have a superior advantage, that moment, the last war has begun. The only reason Russia does not attack is, she is afraid. And every time you confront Russia, she will back down, whether in the crisis in Cuba or whether in this present crisis in the Arab-Israeli war in the Middle East. For you see, Russia had promised Nasser, and Russia had promised Syria, and Russia had promised the Arab world. And when Israel cut the Arab world and armies to pieces in four days, did Russia go to their rescue? No. She is afraid. To have an ally in Russia is like leaning on a broken reed. But if she ever thinks that she has superior surprise in attack or achievement in arms on battlefields, that minute, a Russia – Russia will begin this last and final war. God says she shall be destroyed [Ezekiel 38-39].
Last, fourth: there will be no peace to the Jew. There will be no peace to Israel, there will be no settlement in the Middle East; there will be war and desolations to the end, according the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel [Daniel 9:26]. You are not going to be able to contrive a peace in the Middle East, and a peace in Israel, and a peace for the Jew. He is involved in desolation and in judgment until he accepts the Prince of Peace [Matthew 23:39]. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem," the closing verses of the great word of the Lord in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He our Messiah, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.
"Your house is left unto you desolate" [Matthew 23:8], the Jew will find no rest for the sole of his foot. He will find no peace for his house, his home, and his children until he finds it in the Prince Messiah. Will he ever do that? Yes. And we may be living to that final denouement and the consummation of history. Yes. Someday, at the end time he will accept, the whole Jewish world, the Prince of Peace. "I will pour upon the house of David," Zechariah 12 and 13:
I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, The Spirit of grace and supplication: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn as one mourneth for his only son.
And one shall say unto Him, this Prince of Peace, what are these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends.
And in that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, before Jerusalem on the east.
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.
[Zechariah 14: 9]
God is bringing together these final events in world history. It concerns the Jew, Israel, the Holy Land. It concerns Russia and the United States. We shall be a friend to Israel; God shall destroy Russia [Ezekiel 38-39]. God shall bless these who look up in faith and in acceptance to the Son of God [Hebrews 11:6].
I preached a sermon here – and with this sentence I will stop – I preached a sermon here one time. "And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace" [Isaiah 9:6]. And the sermon was What an Amazing Arrangement of Words. The great climactic description, not "the Everlasting Father, the Mighty God," but the climax is, His name shall be called Wonderful, how blessed. His name shall be called Counselor, how precious. His name shall be called the Mighty God. Amen. His name shall be called the Everlasting Father, hallelujah. And the consummation and climax of it all, and His name shall be called the Prince of Peace; and we shall find rest in God.
Now we must sing our song, and while we sing it, somebody you, give himself to Jesus; a family you, coming into the fellowship of the church. As the Holy Spirit of God shall press the appeal to your heart, make it now, make it this morning. On the first note of that first stanza, come. "Preacher, here I am. I give you my hand. I give my heart to the Lord." Or, "Here I stand coming into fellowship with this wonderful church." As God shall say the word and lead in the way, make it now. Make it this morning, while we stand and while we sing.
ISRAEL IN THE CONSUMMATION OF HISTORY
Dr. W. A. Criswell
I. God says final denouement there
B. The world is moving toward a world religion (Revelation 13:11-15, 17)
C. Closing chapter of human history will be there
1. Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21, 9:10, 16:13-16)
II. End time revolves around the Jew
A. He will be here to the end (Matthew 24:34)
B. Land of Palestine belongs to him (Genesis 17:8, 28:13, Psalm 105:8-11)
C. Jew will return to Palestine in unbelief (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
D. Jew will rebuild the temple and reinstitute Mosaic sacrifices (Daniel 9:27, Revelation 11:1-2)
III. God says his enemy is Russia
A. Enemy comes from the north (Ezekiel 38:2-3)
IV. God says no peace for Israel until accept Prince of Peace
A. Wars determined to the end (Daniel 9:26)
B. Words of Jesus (Matthew 23:37-39)
C. They will accept their King (Zechariah 12:10-14:9)