Thursday, January 31, 2013

Understanding Israel's Place in Prophecy - the Seed Promise

Even if you know nothing about Bible prophecies for the last days or how from the start God chose a specific nation to be His special people, you've heard much political attention given to Israel.  In his book, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis would argue this is because Israel has been and will be important in practically all events that fall on history's timeline from Genesis through Revelation.  Bernis, a Jew who has come to accept the Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah, contends that everything about Israel's part in biblical events is traced back to Genesis 3:15, the Seed Promise.   In that verse, "God decreed the seed of the woman would ultimately crush Satan's head and bring about his destruction".  That promise depended on Abraham's seed, the line through which the Redeemer would eventually appear.  Satan's mission was to stop it before it happened.   Bernis believes that Satan's number one priority is to destroy that seed, even to this day and this is the basis and rationale of all anti-Semitism.   In the book, he explains why this promise is yet to be fully fulfilled.  He believes that Calvary was a "down payment", the "first installment" since the domain of Satan has not yet been brought to completion.  The promise will ultimately be fulfilled when Jesus returns as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in victory.  This two-part fulfillment is why Satan has worked so hard to destroy the Jewish people, even at times in the name of Christianity.   Bernis goes into detail, outlining specific prophecies and what is happening in Israel today that convinces him the end days are at hand as he sees these in fulfillment.  He spends the latter sections of the book encouraging the reader to reach out to their Jewish friends.  To do so, we must love them and make them jealous of the goodness of our God through our lives and personal stories.   If you understand the verse about blessings coming to those who bless Israel and curses to those who curse Israel, then it is easy to grasp how we should treat our Jewish friends with kindness and a love for them that cares about where they will spend eternity.  We will also want to pray for the nation and its people.  Bernis shares how we can do that.   Knowing that the people of Israel are not loved by God any more than you or I are but are uniquely special to Him, you'll want to learn more about their struggle, their pain, their abuse in history, and their place in prophecy.  I highly recommend this book for that reason alone.   The book was released on Jan 15, 2013 but my copy was a free advance courtesy of the publisher for review through