Jerusalem, God’s Anvil
By John McTernan
Anvil: An iron or steel block on which objects are hammered into shape.
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:3).
The rebirth of the nation of Israel has been a very slow process. The process started in the 1880s and has continued right up to the present time. At times, this process seems to stop and then suddenly a world shaking event takes place that accelerates it. Jews leaving Russia and trickling back to Israel did not seem significant at first. There was just a small steady stream of them from Russia. Then came 1914 World War I and in 1917 the Balfour Declaration. Like an explosion, World War I prepared the land for the return.
The period between world wars was one of tension and terrorism. There was no apparent move of God toward fulfilling the covenant, but then came World War II and the Nazi holocaust. These events set the stage for hundreds of thousands of Jews to flee back to Israel. Almost like an explosion, there were huge numbers of Jews back in Israel. World War II certainly had prepared the people for the land.
Then came the rebirth of the nation on May 14, 1948, and the immediate war that followed. The war ended with Israeli independence, but Jerusalem a divided city. Once again there was a period of tension and terrorism. For 20 years, there seemed no end to the shelling and terrorists attacks. Next came the Six Day War in 1967, and like a bolt of lightning, Jerusalem was the united capital. Since 1967, there has been a major war, plus fighting in Lebanon , continuing terrorist attacks, and several intifadas against Israel.
Starting in September 2000, a low grade war started over Jerusalem. This war was a continuation of the fighting that started in the 1920s. Although the fighting and terrorism appears endless, there will be an end. There seems to be tension, terrorism and fighting between all the major moves of God to restore Israel. The terrorism and fighting against Israel will continue up to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem .
Jerusalem was united over 40 years ago. Now, the focus of tension is over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount area. The Bible states the possession of Jerusalem will be the cause of the last great world war. The issues involving Jerusalem will draw all the nations of the world into this battle. God is going to use Jerusalem as an anvil against the nations of the world. In September 2000, the Temple Mount became the scene of bloody combat. his could be the fuse that ignites the last world war.
God is moving to fulfill the promises of His everlasting covenant, but one needs patience. God moved very slowly with Israel in fulfilling the promise. Looking back since 1917, the Israelis have made tremendous progress as a people and nation. Millions of Jews have returned home. Israel is a nation with Jerusalem as the capital. Israel is a mighty military power with a powerful economy. Hebrew is the national language. In God’s time, He will fulfill the rest of the covenant promises. Israel will rebuild a temple in Jerusalem in the near future. It is just a matter of time.
No matter what the British, Muslims, United Nations, European Union or any other group tried, their attempts have not been able to stop the rebirth and development of the nation. Israel is truly like an anvil, and nations are broken that try to destroy God’s everlasting covenant. In watching God at work, great patience is required.
The restoration has taken over a century to get this far. God has His own agenda and timetable. Watching Jerusalem and the intifada that started in September 2000 over the Temple Mount, shows that God’s timetable may be accelerating. Remember, Jesus Christ said that Jerusalem was the key to the timetable.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
With the rebirth of Israel and Jerusalem as the capital, this nation becomes an anvil for false views of God and Bible doctrine. Most religions of the world do not recognize God’s everlasting covenant with Israel . Some believe Jews had a covenant, but they believe this covenant is no longer in effect.
God is using the restoration of Israel to show the literalness of His Word. The rebirth of Israel confronts false teaching, false doctrine and false prophets. Israel becomes an anvil breaking many false doctrines and misunderstandings about the Bible.
The Islamic religion does not recognize the covenant with Isaac and Jacob, but instead believes God made the covenant with Abraham and Ishmael. The Bible actually states that the everlasting covenant was not with Ishmael but with Isaac. Islam refuses to accept the authority of the Bible and insists the covenant was with Ishmael. It is ironic that Israel was reborn right in the very midst of Islam! The Bible verses to show this, follow:
“And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year” (Genesis 17:19-21).
Islam could not prevent the rebirth of Israel, although they claim the authority of the Koran over the Bible. Islam controlled Palestine for most of the time since 638, yet could not prevent the restoration of Israel. Muslims fought Israel in 1948, 1967, 1973 followed with continuous terrorist acts right up to our present day. With all these wars and attacks, the Muslim nations failed to destroy Israel. Yasser Arafat made his life’s goal the destruction of Israel. He is now dead and buried and Israel lives on.
The Koran fails to mention Jerusalem even once, and it does not mention the rebirth of the nation of Israel. The Bible mentions Jerusalem 811 times. The rebirth of Israel is on page after page in the Bible, while the Koran is silent. The rebirth of Israel shows the authority of the Bible as the Word of God.
God’s everlasting covenant with the rebirth of Israel is like an anvil against the Koran. The rebirth of Israel is proof that the Koran and Mohammed are incorrect. For this reason there will always be tension between Israel and Islam. This tension will not last forever. This tension between Israel and the Koran can never be peacefully resolved. For Islam to recognize the nation of Israel this would be an admission that the Koran and Islam are wrong. Muslim fundamentalists refer to Israel as the “Zionist entity.” They refuse to even recognize the existence of the nation of Israel.
There is a huge confrontation on the horizon between the holy God of the Bible and Islam. The heart of the confrontation is Jewish control of Jerusalem. God is using Israel as an anvil against Islam. When the Islamic nations come against Israel and Jerusalem, God will judge them. This destruction will lead them to realize the Bible is the Word of God, and the holy God of Israel is the true God.
“Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 38:23).
Christian Replacement Theology
God is using Israel as an anvil against false teachings within the Christian church. There are false doctrines that are called dominion theology, covenant theology and preterism. These doctrines are fluid and there are many branches to them; however, there is one basic tenet to which they all agree: the Christian church has now replaced Israel in the everlasting covenant with Abraham.
These doctrines hold that God has no future plan with national Israel, and when the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD, it ended the everlasting covenant. Israel then fell under the curse of the Law, and all the blessings in the Bible now belong to the Church. The Church now is the seed of Abraham. These doctrines falsely state that God has no future with the nation of Israel.
These doctrines are in stark contrast to what prophet after prophet states. Jeremiah, for example, states the LORD will never cast off all Israel for sin. Jeremiah claims that the nation of Israel will remain forever, and God will never cast them all away.
“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; if heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:35-37).
Ezekiel records that God dispersed Israel into all nations because of sin, but God would one day bring them back because of His holy name. God tied His name to the everlasting covenant and for this reason He will restore Israel. God will not restore Israel because of their righteousness but because of His holy name. The nation of Israel exists today only because of the holy name of the God of Israel.
“And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 36:19, 21-24, 28).
Zechariah prophesied the restoration of Israel; however, when they return it is in unbelief toward God and the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet shows God will restore Jerusalem , and He will judge the nations for trying to destroy Jerusalem . At the time of this judgment, then Israel turns to belief in the Lord Jesus, …and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him… Israel is in unbelief today, just as Zechariah stated would happen. The day of their restoration to the Lord God of Israel remains yet in the future:
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:9, 10).
God is using the rebirth of Israel to prove these replacement doctrines are incorrect. Just as Moses and the prophets wrote, the physical descendants of Abraham have returned and restored the nation. In the Bible, Jerusalem literally means the city of Jerusalem. Israel means Israel, and one cannot spiritualize it to mean the Church. Islam and replacement theology both refuse to believe the Bible about the restoration of Israel and Jerusalem. These combined false beliefs fail to prevent the restoration of Israel .
If this restoration of Israel is not of God, then what is it? Could it be a divine trick of some sort? Page after page in the Bible prophesied the restoration. The restoration of modern Israel matches these prophecies of the Bible. So, it comes down to the final authority. Is a manmade doctrine like replacement theology or Islam the final authority, or the Bible with its clear verses that establish the restoration of Israel?
The restoration of Israel smashes replacement theology. This restoration proves the error of that belief system. The foundation of replacement theology is very simple. It rests upon unbelief in God’s Word. This is a very serious error that leads to consequences with God, including spiritual blindness.
To try and get around the error of the replacement and covenant theology, some believers in these doctrines have gone so far as to say that the Jews in Israel are not real Jews. When the Tsar was killing “Jews” in the Russian pogroms, no one said to the Tsar, “Stop they are not real Jews.” When the Nazis were killing these “Jews” no one said to Adolph, “Stop they are not real Jews.”
Now, when these same “Jews” go back to Israel, all of a sudden they are no longer Jews! God is using the rebirth of Israel to cut right through false and incorrect views of His Word. The promise of God in the Bible is crystal clear on page after page. Manmade doctrines and false prophets have tried to alter this covenant, but in the latter days, God has made the truth clear for all to see. God is very serious about His Word.
“Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12).
Belief in false doctrines concerning the literalness of the rebirth of Israel blinds people to the work of God that is occurring right before their eyes. God is moving to fulfill His Word, and millions cannot see it because they are following false prophets or wrong doctrines about Israel and Jerusalem. The very sad part is that believers in Jesus Christ, because of false doctrine, are actually against the work of God. Many fail to support God’s covenant nation and oppose it, because of a false understanding of Israel and the everlasting covenant.
Replacement theology and Islam are in 100 percent agreement against Israel. They both refuse to recognize that Israel exists because of the everlasting covenant. It is a scary thought that someone who names Jesus as their Savior, can be in such rebellion against God that they are in agreement with Islam. As time goes on, the faithful Church will grow closer and closer with Israel while the church in great error may grow closer to Islam.
It is very serious, to be on the wrong side of God when He is defending His everlasting covenant. The wrong doctrine can cause apathy toward Israel and the Jews. This can lead to failure to pray for and support Israel in a time of crisis. This incorrect doctrine blinds a person’s ability to recognize God’s judgment falling on America for forcing Israel to divide the covenant land. Therefore, this person is spiritually unable to intercede for America as it faces judgment.
God is very serious about the land and covenant. The Lord God of Israel will literally use Jerusalem as an anvil to destroy the nations that come against it. Jerusalem will draw the nations like a moth to a light. Multitudes of people have rejected God and the Bible or just do not believe His Word. This rebellion will cause the nations to come against God’s anvil. God has warned beforehand what happens when armies try to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem. The entire world will see the mighty power of God as He uses Israel as His anvil.
Thus, God is using the rebirth of Israel to expose false prophets, false doctrines, and to have a literal witness on the earth to the authority of His Word. It is important that one’s faith be in accord with the truth of the Bible. God’s Word has been tested in the furnace of the earth. The Bible has proven itself to be like pure gold and silver. The everlasting covenant has been tested now for 4,000 years of history. It is in effect for all to see. God’s is faithful to His Word and promises.